There is an old saying, “birds of a feather-flock together” and that is the case in Pennsylvania Elk photography, where the photographers who shoot Canon Digital SLR cameras with the big L series telephotos soon seek each other out and spend hours discussing the merits of different lenses and cameras. Of course I am sure there are many who shoot Canon pro equipment that are there for a day or so, or shoot other areas other than Winslow Hill, or they may be primarily elk hunting oriented. Most if not all members of the group featured today are not supportive of an elk hunt anywhere in the Winslow Hill area.
The undisputed leader of this group is Ronald J. Saffer, better known as Buckwheat.He was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident nearly twenty years ago and almost lost his life. He has little to no use of his left arm, which he wears in a sling and he is in severe pain at times from the effects of the injury.
This was a life-changing situation and Buckwheat took up wildlife photography after recovering from the accident. My earliest memories of him are from stories that Billie Cromwell told about his excursions to Elk County from 1988s through the mid-1990s. These stories commonly involved how Billie was photographing elk, often in a remote area, when Buckwheat would suddenly materialize beside him, and once the photography was over they would discuss cameras and lenses.
I bought my first digital SLR, a Canon 10-D in October of 2003, and shot the Elk rut the following year with it and a 100-400mm Canon L Zoom. That fall I decided to pursue serious still photography more intensively and in December purchased the Canon 500mmF4 lens, and the 70-200mmF2.8 the following summer. That autumn Buckwheat and I discovered that we had quite a bit to discuss now as he was shooting digital also and I became a regular member of Winslow Hill’s unofficial Canon L lens brigade.
Odie is an excellent photographer and Buckwheat's close side-kick. Randy is an up an coming young photographer who pursues his work with extreme seriousness. To see some of his work visit his website.
Pa Wildlife Photographer with XL-H1 Camcorder: 70-200mmF2.8, Odie Swartz looking on: Photo Courtesy of "Salty" of Country Captures
One Of The Animals That Keeps Us Returning Year After Year!
Not pictured, but not forgotten are: Billie Cromwell PGC Retired, John Eastlake DCNR Retired, and of course "Salty" of Country Captures, PGC DWCO Retired.
If I have neglected to mention anyone else, I do apologize for the oversight.
Also I am not inferring any position that anyone may have about the hunt, other than Billie, Salty, Buckwheat and I. We are glad to socialize with anyone of opposing viewpoints as long as the discourse is courteous and professional in nature.