Bison 7072 pano

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The Bison of Yellowstone have always held a special fascination with me. Any critter that can stand in water that can boil an egg with an air temp of minus -32 (the coldest I’ve seen them), and go on chewin their cud as if it were just another day (which it is for them) I find fascinating. In the past, shooting one click and having it filled with Bison wasn’t a challenge. This latest trip with the warm temps and not historically high snow levels, tons of Bison just weren’t to be seen. At the same time, they are a range animal with the main herd kinda always on the move as they graze … and they call one of the most gorgeous and special places on the planet, Yellowstone, home. How do you say that in a photograph?

I first went long, shooting with the 800mm trying to compact those that were available. That didn’t work so I then added the TC-14eIII giving me 1200mm and that didn’t cut it. So I went to Plan B, not trying to tell the story with one click but with three creating a pano. I put the 300PF on the D4s and went clickin. That took care of showing the story of the Bison, but what about Yellowstone? Shooting in the world’s largest caldera, had to say that so shooting with the camera plum to the earth was important. That shows the slope of the side of the growing caldera. Then including the stormy skies as a backdrop for the steam was required. After that, it was a three click assembly in ACR and done. Would I have loved the perfect herd in perfect light? Heck ya but that’s not what I had so I told the story with the elements at hand, they dot the landscape.

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