Tom and I celebrate the great images being created by our community of photographers each month by selecting a Photo of the Month. For September we selected Linda Sullivan’s image from our Elk Rut Workshop. We hope you enjoy Linda’s images as much as we do.
Congratulations to September’s photographer – Linda Sullivan
The Story …
We were very fortunate. It was the end of the morning session and we were leaving Moraine Park. We came across these two young bulls in the Ponderosa Pines by the road. We jumped out and took advantage of the opportunity to get close to the pair practicing for when they become more serious as adults.
They were out there sparring for an hour. The challenge was trying to set the shot up. The best shot was when they moved into a small clearing. I wanted to get both of their eyes open while they were locked in battle.
I was glad that I learned to shoot in manual with auto ISO on the workshop. It made it really easy to shoot wildlife. Using auto ISO allowed me to focus on just the shutter speed. This made me more confident in working in manual mode.
We photographed handheld to be able to move quickly to get action shots with the best composition and the least amount of distractions. I was very pleasantly surprised to see two young bulls fighting for such a long time right in front of us. It was quite an opportunity!
The Data: .
ISO 2800 220mm 1/1000 f 5.6 in manual mode with auto ISO
The Gear: Nikon D850 with a 80-400mm lens
About Photographing the Elk Rut in Rocky Mountain National Park:
It was a magical experience for me. I spent time not only photographing the elk and their behavior. I also just listened to the bugling sounds and the dance of the rut.
All the animal behaviour we experienced during the weekend was so special. It makes me want to go back year after year.
Tip from the Photographer …
I really appreciated learning about elk behaviour from all the information that was sent before the workshop. You want to be able to anticipate what they are going to do.
We learned how the elk would move to round up the females in their harem. We knew when the bull would bugle. It made it easier to anticipate when to be ready to photograph. We waited for the right moment, instead of just shooting away at everything.
On Linda’s Horizon
Galapagos & Costa Rica
Want to join us for the last Colorado Getaway? We have a few open spots and will be photographing the end of the elk rut in Rocky Mountain National Park and hoping for clear enough skies to shoot the galaxy at night. Click Here for more info