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on Nov 5, 2015 in Wildlife Photography

Size Isn’t Everything

Size isn’t everything! Size of your lens for example, this photo was taken with 1000mm. Size of your effort to get the photo, we just had to walk a mile for this photo. Size of your subject, that bull Moose couldn’t be any smaller in the frame. The size of your heart that drives the size of your imagination, now we’re in a conversation where size matters. When you put your eye to the viewfinder, be sure you’re concern on size is the right size. Then and only then will the subject reach out and touch the viewer and the story...

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on Oct 29, 2015 in Wildlife Photography

Showing That Giant Rack

Those racks, it’s what fall is all about when you’re a wildlife photographer! Just as trophy hunters look for the biggest set, so do wildlife photographers. But how do you make them look as big if not bigger in your photo than they are in the wild? This 50-52″ rack isn’t a huge one but it is respectable. The first thing in making the rack appear large in the frame is to shoot UP on the subject. Not eye level, not down, but an upward angle is a must in making the antlers appear large. This is just a basic human response to shooting up. It appears more masculine, more majestic and for a bull Moose, bigger! Next is the lens you shoot with. Longer is not always the best choice. In this case, I’m shooting with the 200-400VR2 (with D4s) because I love how 400mm communicates the strength of the animal. My preferred focal length is 300mm but getting that opportunity is a challenge. Lastly, it’s the pose...

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on Oct 21, 2015 in Wildlife Photography

Play With Me

Moose are a funny critter (you can associate that with the 2 & 4 legged ones). I’ve always found their biology quite fascinating. For example, them long legs, they’re for getting through the deep brush and snow they live in. They have an amazing high step but when running from a predator, it turns into this fast yet funny shuffle. Then there are those big racks, the antlers that us photographers love to photograph. As you can see in these 2-3yr olds, they ain’t got them yet but that doesn’t prevent them from playing with them. They do serve a purpose but it’s not exactly what you might think. At this stage of life, they are just getting use to them being there. They do shed them in January after just a couple of months of wearing them and a short period of really putting them to use. At this age, these bulls will just have pushing fun, not real battles because they are not ready to become part...

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on Oct 14, 2015 in Wildlife Photography

The Alaskan Moose

If you look closely at his antlers, you’ll see they look like weathered wood and in some spots, he still has his velvet. CWD affects very few and is only the second time I’ve seen it all these years which is why I focused in on this bull for five hours. I shot with the D4s / 200-400VR2 with the TC-14eIII at times depending on where he was and what he was doing. Where I stood in relation to the bull all depended on the light since the story is the disease. My goal was to show off that CWD by using the light to bring to life the “deformity.” Now this particular bull we only saw this one afternoon, never saw again during the week. That’s in part because he is not part of the breeding pool. Those antlers couldn’t withstand the impacts of the rut. Will he be around next year? The last bull I saw like this I was with a noted Moose biologist who said...

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on Oct 5, 2015 in Wildlife Photography

We Call Him Lewis

Well our new buddy, the Lewis’s Woodpecker has spent a week with us now, so we just call him Lewis. This immature male is a first for our property and getting to know him and his biology has been great fun. It would seem he is getting use to us as well because we can move about the inside of our house and he know ignores us. That’s great! This weekend, I worked with him more to the point where I could venture outside with the camera and photograph him. No more shooting through the windows and that vastly improved image quality. I have to sneak out the door with the D4s / 800 / Zenili rig but he does permit me to come and and play. His general pattern is to fly into the Aspen in the front (top photo) and get warm in the sun and watch the activity at the feeders. Then he flies up to the perch next to the feeder (bottom photo) and suns...

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on Oct 5, 2015 in Wildlife Photography

Mule Deer Munching

Saturday was a great day on the property. The morning had the Lewis’s Woodpecker and then in the afternoon, these guys wondered in. Now we have had deer on our property in the past, but normally we only know about it when our beagle’s nose tells us. We rarely see them. So to have a 6 & 4pt buck and doe come in and make themselves at home, that floored us. For the first 30-45min we just watched them as they went through and munched on the greenest plants they could find. Why were they there in the first place? There is a semi annual migration of the Mule deer through the area. Normally it’s on the other side of the valley but with the drought, I think they game through the area with all the green plants from folks watering (had a doe and fawn come through on Sunday). After that time, I decided I’d go outside and see if there were any photo opps to be had....

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