Behind The Shot: Younger Elk

Wasatch Mountains, Utah

Picture By Debbie O’Dell

The Wasatch Vary is an exquisite mountain vary positioned in northern Utah. The best peak is Mount Nebo, on the southern finish of the vary, at 11,928 toes. There’s all kinds of wildlife dwelling within the space, together with deer, moose, elk and black bear.

Early fall is my favourite time of yr to {photograph} within the Wasatch. The times are heat, and the nights are crisp and funky. The leaves of the scrub oak, maple and aspen timber flip good shades of pink, yellow, orange and gold. There’s the potential of snow on the mountain peaks. The animals start rising their thick coats of fur for the approaching winter. All of this presents many alternatives for a photographer.

My plan on today was to go into the Wasatch to {photograph} wildlife, particularly moose and elk. My first vacation spot was Little Cottonwood Canyon. The canyon, simply east of the Salt Lake Metropolis space, provides great views of excessive mountain peaks and beautiful fall foliage and good alternatives for wildlife viewing. The scene was spectacular, with the autumn leaves glowing and a lightweight dusting of snow on the mountain peaks.

After some time of photographing the panorama and never seeing any wildlife, I made a decision to go away and go to the japanese aspect of the Wasatch. A number of weeks earlier, I had photographed elk close to Park Metropolis, and I used to be hopeful that they had been nonetheless within the space.

On the way in which to my vacation spot, I seen a small herd of elk not far off from the highway. Nevertheless, there have been some giant timber in entrance of the elk, making it troublesome to see them clearly. Persevering with additional up the highway, I got here to a clearing with colourful scrub oak on the far aspect of it. Hoping that the herd would make their method right here, I made a decision to cease and commenced to organize my digital camera.

The sky was overcast, and the sunshine was a bit darkish and flat, so I set an ISO of 800 with the intention to have a quick shutter velocity to seize motion. I additionally set a beanbag on the automobile door for digital camera stability. If the elk did come, I didn’t wish to scare them away by being exterior of the automobile. Then I waited.

Finally, the small herd meandered into the clearing. They had been so calm and peaceable. Glancing towards the far aspect of the clearing, I seen this cute younger elk taking an curiosity within the colourful leaves of the scrub oak. It was an exquisite setting. The younger elk appeared curious, and when she began to smell the leaves above her, I used to be capable of seize the candy second. The thought “cease and scent the roses” got here to thoughts.

Quickly after, the herd started to go away the clearing, nudging this younger elk again towards the big timber and out of sight. It was an exquisite expertise to spend even a couple of minutes with these lovely animals. 

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Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM, LensCoat LensSack Professional. Publicity: 1/1000, ƒ/5.6, ISO 800.