It seems that one is always looking for that super, award winning shot and may be disappointed with a day afield if such an opportunity does not present itself. I know I am always looking for such photographs and video footage, yet if we concentrate on that to too great of a degree we may miss a certain type of shot that is valuable in its' own way.
I seldom used to photograph or film the elk in town, except when I wanted footage documenting that situation. I have come to photograph these animals more and more as I find that it documents a different aspect of Pennsylvania's Elk Range, and the town of Benezette in particular. While I ordinarily think of foot trips in the backcountry when visualizing elk photography, this is not what most tourists do. The photographs featured today are actually more representative of what they may encounter-along with roadside encounters on Winslow Hill Road and Route 555.
Low Light Levels and a lot of distracting objects usually define this type of photography. All of the photographs featured today(except for the elk in bright sunlight by the pond) were taken at ISO 1600 with the 70-200mm f2.8 IS,. The highest shutter speed used was 1/60 and the lowest was 1/15. As much as I firmly believe in tripods, I do not usually set one up in town, as I do not wish to create a spectacle, or impede traffic. These were shot out of the vehicle window, resting the rig on the windowsill.
Fred is of course the famous Benezette town bull that I have featured in many posts before. He is a favorite of many Pennsylvania elk watchers and many travel to the area to check on "Freddie".
Sometimes it works well to shoot the animal as one finds it, but trying different angles may result in being able to isolate it against a pleasing backdrop. (I am not too fond of the position of the elk in the shot below, but I do like the rustic building as a background)
Sometimes the animals are positioned so that one may take a photograph that looks as though it were taken in the wilderness. There were buildings on both sides and objects in front of the animal below, but I was able to get a natural looking portrait by zooming in to 185mm.