Classic Elk

Years ago, my wife and I visited the National Bison Range on our way to Yellowstone. While we were there, we ran across half a dozen bull elk playing around by the creek that runs through the preserve. At the time, I was using an early model Canon 7D that did not have a lock on the mode control dial, and I managed to get it switched without realizing it. As a consequence, I had a slow shutter speed and didn’t get a single keeper from that experience. (“Remember to check your settings, Honey”). I went back there on a ten day trip, returning late this past week. The number of photographers has gotten much higher, though nowhere near as bad as Yellowstone or RMNP.

This one was from the best of six morning sessions and was the only bull that ever gave me this classic “majestic bull” pose. He’s also the only one that gave me really nice light (though this particular shot was still very early). The elk tend to head from the highlands into the river bottoms in the morning and do it before there’s much light, but this particular one didn’t like crossing the line of vehicles, though none of the others seemed to mind it (I’ll be writing a note on that issue for a different forum).

What technical feedback would you like if any?


What artistic feedback would you like if any?

Anything. Does this crop work?

Pertinent technical details or techniques:

7DII, Sigma 150-600 C @ 562 mm, tripod with ball head and Sidekick, f/8, 1/160, iso 2500, manual exposure. Processed in LR & PS CC. Cropped to 4925x3283 before resizing for the web. Noise reduction with NeatImage. Taken at 7:32 am on September 14th.

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I think the crop works fine since the bull has turned to face you. That he is on a hill allowing that nice background is very nice. No nits from me.

He is beautiful, Dennis. I love the pose he gave you. So glad that you had another chance to capture a shot like this.