Maine Moose

Driving along a well know stretch of rural road it is not a surprise to see a moose but to see a large male with a velvet rack is so very rare and welcome. I did not have much time to adjust me camera to grab this picture. In a situation like this one any suggestions on a pre-set would be helpful.

Specific Feedback Requested

suggestions on camera setting for unexpected wildlife

Technical Details

Is this a composite: No
Nikon Z7.ll, Nikon Lens 70-300mm, Shutter Speed 1/125 sec, F5.6, ISO3600 - I believe it was in manual mode.

Hi Norma, this is a really cool image of a large Moose. Very cool. I can’t help with the preset, but I generally try to leave my camera on Auto ISO with a limited shutter speed of 1/125sec, aperture wide open, and ISO up to max of 3200. Pretty much what your manual settings were. :slight_smile:

thank you David, at least I know I am somewhat in the right area

Hi Norma!

Your settings appeared good for the surprise subject!
If you have some room on the LHS, you may try to place the Moose off center and you may burn the grasses in the foreground.

Thank you, I did crop out a telephone pole. As the moose was off center. I could go back and clone out the pole and burn in the grass. Sounds like a good plan.

Oh how I miss moose. This is a beauty of a bull. He’s muscular and powerful looking. Gorgeous. I like the idea of darkening the grass a little. If you do re-crop, I’d like the extra room to the left; in the direction he’s looking. Great catch though. Really.

In terms of presets, this is what my wildlife preset currently looks like -

  • Shutter Priority (default is 1/1000 sec, but it may change)
  • Auto ISO (I think my ceiling is 3200)
  • Animal detection focus priority
  • Auto-focus flexible which readjusts focus if the subject moves
  • Center-weighted metering

I also have two function buttons on the front of the camera near my fingers on the grip set up to - Auto-Focus Far and 6K Burst

Usually I flip the dial to burst mode and the Auto Focus to AFC - those are physical switches that can’t be baked into the preset.

Other custom mode settings are in my blog post about it if you’re curious -

Glad you’re diving in more. That Nikon looks to be a lovely choice for wildlife.

A wonderful find, but I think some processing might be limiting here. That camera should have excellent resolution and IQ even at that high ISO and if a large crop. This has a look of too much NR, or not done with optimal software.

It may be that focus was on the grasses a little behind the moose and you tried to sharpen? Unfortunately, sharpening won’t compensate for focus problems except at the level of a few pixels.

If that’s the case, a major consideration with sudden and quick-changing situations is to utilize the focus capabilities of the camera optimally.

At f/5.6 and ISO 2600 I’d expect a much higher ss, unless it was very dim light.

I know you are absolutely correct about the focus on the grasses and yes I did try to sharpen. It was a quick snap before he was gone and I do believe my camera was not set optimally for the focus on the face. Here is the original picture. Thanks again I really do appreciate it.

Pole removed and front pavement removed, no sharpening.


I like the detail you have in the body of the moose. Not always an easy thing to do. Agree that the grass in the foreground could be darker. Like the last version posted. Thank you for sharing.