Saturday, December 1, 2012

Remembering The 2012 Elk Rut

With the whitetail rut effectively over because of the onset of rifle deer season in Pennsylvania, I find my thoughts turning once again to the Pennsylvania elk rut.  I was photographing one of the larger bulls on Winslow Hill on a rainy mid-September morning when I heard a bugle behind me and turned to find an impressive 6x6 staring at the other bull.  I had the 500mm lens mounted and could not get the entire elk in the composition so I decided to try for a dramatic close-up of the head.

Rainy Day 6x6: Canon 5D MKIII-500mm F4 ISO 640 1/200 f4
Rainy weather can yield some dramatic photo opportunities, and cameras such as the 5D MK III have sufficient weather sealing to make this type of photography possible without one having to be overly concerned about protecting the camera.  I do keep a garbage bag over the camera and lens when transporting it, but have no qualms at all about shooting with this camera and lenses such as the 500mm in moderate rainfall.

Excellent opportunities my also be found when the sky begins to clear, especially in late evening.  In this case a rainbow formed as the sun emerged after a shower and the late evening sun bathed a herd of elk in warm, dramatic light.

Rainbow Forms As Late Evening Sun Breaks Through:Canon 5D MKIII-24-105mm L @28nn   ISO 400 1/25 f 13
Bull and Harem In Late Evening Sun: Canon 5D MKIII-24-105mm@88nn L  ISO 400 1/80 f 4
With the the fall rut over for both species, it will soon be time to focus on other species as winter approaches and in about three months it will be time to photograph the spring waterfowl migration.

Originally posted at Pennsylvania Wildlife Photographer by Willard Hill.

9 comments:

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Beautiful shots.

Nancy J said...

I am always entranced at the photos that show such detail, his antlers, his eyes, and his bugle, can almost hear it.Beautiful rainbow, and thank you for the settings.Greetings from Jean

Linda Gross said...

It is not often that we see photographs other than wildlife in your blog. Love the photograph of the rainbow; very pretty! Your wildlife photographs are extraordinary. I love the close-up of the elk. BTW I can use my Olympus E-5 in moderate rainfall, too. There are photo opportunities in inclement weather that you wouldn't get in other types of weather.

Unknown said...
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themanfromvan said...



Excellent article, Willard. I was blessed to make it to Benezette twice this rut season. I only wish it were closer to me.

Jim Borden said...

Dramatic is a good adjective for that first shot. Nice write up and beautiful photo

sanind88 said...

Nice photography...


Photo editing

Lindsjö taxar said...

Beautiful pictures....we have cold and that is difficult too if you take pictures

Brendan Burger said...

Excellent pics, Willard.