Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Challenges Photographing Pennsylvania Elk

Photographing Pennsylvania Elk is seldom an easy task. Light, backgrounds, obstructions and subject poses can all prove challenging in the task of obtaining quality photographs.

Elk are most active in early morning and late evening and during periods of low light. Mornings are usually foggy in the elk range which adds another dimension to the degree of difficulty.

Fast lenses help to overcome the low light issues with the 70-200mm F2.8 being a very popular lens with the dedicated elk photographers. With the degree of acclimation and the size of the animal the 70- 200mm offers enough magnification for much of the work. For other lenses of more magnification and/or smaller apertures a tripod is a necessity.

Some of the food plots which were developed on reclaimed strip mines offer less than ideal backgrounds although this obstacle can often be overcome by carefully choosing the camera position.

The image captured here was shot from the tripod with the 100-400mm F5.6 ISO 800 1/100 sec. in the early morning. The fog was of considerable benefit here as it completely obscures a group of elk watchers looking on from a viewing area parking lot directly behind this magnificent bull.


Chris said...

Hi Coy,
Well done. This is a beautiful capture and the atmosphere is wonderful!

Montanagirl said...

Stunning shot. Wish I could get that close. Where we go to view the Elk, we'd have to own a camper (which we don't), so we could spend the night, and get those early morning shots. It's a 2 hour drive for us to get there. Excellent photography. Love this sbot.