David Guttenfelder is one of six photographers who contributed to National Geographic magazine's special issue on Yellowstone. Learn about the other five at natgeo.com/yellowstone.
After college David Guttenfelder left his native Iowa and spent the next 20 years living, working, and winning photojournalism awards (including seven World Press Photo Awards) around the globe. In 2015, he says, “I moved back to America specifically to work on this important Yellowstone story.”
For his first year as a National Geographic Society photography fellow, Guttenfelder worked throughout the ecosystem. He regularly posted Instagram photos of his long, scenic commutes “to bring others along—and maybe rub it in that I got to drive through Yellowstone every morning."
“After exploring the world my whole adult life,” he says, a year in this iconic American park “was the perfect homecoming.”
You can still catch a rodeo in the region around Yellowstone. Ranchers still gather at saloons to two-step on Saturday night. And the sight of a pickup with a dog and a rifle in the back may never go away. The economy and culture of the region, seen in the following set of images, are changing fast.