|6x7 On Winslow Hill: Low Light Requires Fast Lenses|
In chapter 2" Techniques for Making Quality Photographs", and again in "Photo Equipment and Software" in chapter 5, Bob stresses the importance of large f stop lenses, for their ability to capture wildlife in extremely low-lighting conditions such as morning and evening when elk are most active, and for their shallow depth of field at the wider f stops, which isolates the subject from the background. He recommends a f2.8 lens such as the 70-200mm f2.8. This trip served to highlight the importance of such lenses as most of my encounters with bulls were in very low lighting conditions, which required lenses of F4 or larger for best results.
The first photo posted today was taken at 6:15 in the morning at ISO 400mm with the Canon 70-200mm f2.8L lens. I did stop it down to F4 to increase the chances that both the antlers and the tip of the nose would be acceptably sharp. This called for a 1/50 second shutter speed, which required the subject to be standing perfectly still with no movement on the part of the photographer. In this case the rig was mounted on a Gitzo tripod with Wimberley head and the camera was fired by a remote release to lessen the chance of camera movement.
The following photo was taken even earlier that morning at 5:56 am. I was filming this bachelor group of bulls with the Canon 7D and the 70-200mm when at one point I paused, put the camera in still mode and fired a few frames at 1/30 sec. f3.2 ISO 640.
|Bachelor Group In Rain|
|1/80 Sec. f2.8|
|1/60 Sec. f3.2|
Be sure to stop by Elk Country Visitor Center and check out Bob's book, which is for sale in the gift shop there. Also visit his blog, Bob Shank Photography for interesting and informative writing about sports and wildlife photography, and for information about he and Dick McCreight's "Pennsylvania Elk Photography Experience". which features workshops on the natural history of elk, photography equipment, and Adobe Lightroom. To see Bob's book online or to order visit: http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/1611137
Originally posted at Pennsylvania Wildlife Photographer by Willard Hill.