Saturday, July 5, 2014

Elk In The Tall Grass

Bull In Short Grass Along Winslow Hill Road: Panasonic GH4-Lumix 100-300 F4.0-5.6@300mm-ISO 400-1/250 Sec. f6.3
It seems that one often finds elk grazing in the short grass by the roadside when traveling Winslow Hill Road.  I will seldom pass up an opportunity to photograph them in this situation, but I much prefer to photograph them in taller, more natural looking grass, or perhaps I should say grass that is not so obviously manipulated by man.

Cows In Natural Setting: Canon 5D MK III-Canon 600mm F4.0 IS + 1.4 extender-ISO 400-1/400 sec. F 4.5
The grass in the photo above was planted during the reclamation of an old strip mine and looks more wild or natural than short lawn type grass..  It was in this same setting that I photographed one of the largest bull of my June trip.  I was watching the same herd of cows in the evening (the photo above was taken in morning) and as the sun was sinking low in the west a respectable bull appeared, but at first he stayed in the shade at the edge of the meadow.

5x5: Canon 5D MK III-Canon 600mm F4.0 IS-ISO 400-1/400 sec. F 4.5
 In time, the cows moved across the meadow and he joined them for awhile in the last rays of the evening  sun.

Cow and Bull Interacting: Canon 5D MK III-Canon 600mm F4.0 IS-ISO 400-1/640 sec. F5.0
After spending some time grazing and interacting with the cows, the bull broke into a run and left the area.

Leaving The Meadow: Canon 5D MK III-Canon 600mm F4.0 IS-ISO 400-1/640 sec. F5.0
I prefer  to photograph elk in a field that has tall grass with a lot of wildflowers such as goldenrod , asters,and butterfly weed, etc., but those flowers are not blooming yet in June and a meadow such as the one in the photos above comes in a close second.

Originally published at Pennsylvania Wildlife Photographer by Willard Hill.