Friday, October 30, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Monday, October 26, 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Sometimes when photographing wildlife I get like a horse with blinders on and forget about my surroundings. I took very few photos that included the landscape, I guess that is something I will have to work on. The top photo and video was taken on Test Hill, if you have watched Willard's Pennsylvania Elk DVD set he mentions this area and features a fight that was filmed here sometime ago. The video shows the bull digging around in the grass with his antlers, just like bugling this is always an impressive sight to see. With the amount of Pa. Elk post I have made lately, it is getting difficult to come up with something to say.
Hey it is Thursday, that means go visit Shanes blog for a new post.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
More Elk bugling today, being music to my ears and many others I just can't get enough of it. Both taken on different days in different locations one early morning and one late evening both these Elk have one thing in common and that is bugling and trying to impress the cows. The photo was taken at almost 7 p.m. as light was quickly fading, to get the photograph I had to shoot at ISO 1000, 1/20 second at f4 with the D300 and the 70-200 2.8 with a 1.4 teleconvertor attached. He was one of eight bulls in a group with only a few cows that Buckwheat and I found by following the bugling.
The video is 23 seconds and again I must ask you to TURN UP YOUR VOLUME. While the video is a bit soft (sorry I didn't have my glasses on to manually focus) it is good in that is shows a bull close up bugling and urinating all over himself. Bulls do this because the urine scent on their bodies help the cows to identify different bulls and helps to keep the cows near during the rut. The scent may also induce cows to come into estrus in preparation for breeding. If I ever pass along bad information please correct me Willard.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
You didn't think I could stay away from the Elk photos for too long did you? Both of these were shot on different days and in different areas but both were taken with the Nikon D90. As always TURN YOUR VOLUME UP, the video last 18 seconds and this nice bull does not disappoint when he lets out a great bugle. That is one of the most impressive things you will ever hear or see. It is sad to think we have to wait another whole year to enjoy it live again. After doing this photograph and looking through the D300 files I found I got a number of good shots of this guy on the mountain that evening. Don't forget most all of my photos get larger if you click on them.
Hey it is Tuesday go visit Shane's site for a new post.
Monday, October 19, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
After being north and photographing the Elk the fire has been burning in me to get out and see and photograph more wildlife. Last week I took a walk at one of the local watering holes in search of migrating birds. While doing so I came across these two guys in the water. To learn more about the Greater Yellowlegs click the link. Don't expect the break from Pennsylvania Elks to last very long I will revisit them again next week.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
The photograph was taken one evening late while shooting with Buckwheat. This young bull just layed in the meadow chewing his cud apparently uninterested that to his left was seven more bulls and a number of cows. To get this photograph I had to remove the 1.4 teleconverter from the 70-200 2.8 lens, lay flat on the ground and not do much zooming. I just wish my photos looked as good on the web as they do on my own systems.
The video was taken early Wednesday morning in some of the newly reclaimed area from strip mining. I really don't care to shoot in these areas because I do not like the green as it appears in the backgrounds and foregrounds, but sometimes you have no choice when that is where the action is taking place. The video last 18 seconds and as always I am going to ask you again to PLEASE TURN UP YOUR VOLUME. What you will see is two dominant bulls square off and lock antlers as they push each other down the other side of the mountain watch the screen to the upper left first and then to the lower right. The younger satellite bulls (much like some men) will come running in bugling as soon as the big bulls get out of site. These bulls know they do not have a chance with the cows and take advantage of any opportunity they get. They usually do not score as the larger bulls return quickly and run them off. Wow! what a great time it was.
Hey it is Thursday and that means go visit my son Shane's site for a new post.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
I hope most of you are enjoying the Elk photographs and videos. I know I had so much fun watching and recording them and I am enjoying seeing them again and sharing them. Since I have been home and people have seen some of the photos and footage I have noticed more interest generated in traveling north to view the Elk. I was a guilty party until last August when my family made the trip to view the Elk. Until that point I traveled out west to photograph the rut. Why I didn't take advantage of a resource just over three hours away from me is mind boggling. I have now been up three times in just over a year and plan on going again over the winter in hopes of photographing the Elk in the snow.
The photo and video were taken on different days in different areas but represent the same subject. Young bulls sparring during the rut. Both were shot early morning in difficult lighting situations. The photograph was taken at 2000 ISO to allow enough light in and get the shutter speed fast enough to freeze the action (1/125 sec., f4). The video last about 27 seconds, PLEASE TURN UP YOUR VOLUME to hear the Elk bugling and the crashing of the antlers. I promise no funny business this time.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Back to the Pennsylvania Elk rut as promised. The photo was taken my first morning out, this young rag horn followed a cow in my direction thankfully turning and heading into the tree line before reaching me. I don't know what you think of the sharpness or quality of the photo but it was taken at 1250 ISO. Have you ever looked this closely into a bulls face when he was bugling?
The video was taken shortly after my arrival in Benezette. While not the best footage and by far not the best setting, the short 23 second video taken in the rain and shows one of the more dominant bulls trying to entice two cows to get involved with him (do you like the way I put that?) and a calf run up to a cow trying to feed. For you mothers out there you should be glad children are more gentler than calves. This was one of the first videos I have taken with the D90 and while I was far from an expert by the time I left for home I had learned allot and began taking much better videos. It looks like after only about six month of using the D90 it will be going up for sale very soon so I can upgrade to the D300S. If anyone out there wants a great camera with HD video features, the optional battery pack on the bottom and remote shutter release, all with less than 3,000 shutter releases let me know I will be selling it at a good price.
Hey it is Tuesday, you know what that means, a new post from Shane. He didn't get a post made last Thursday because the home PC was giving us fits again. About time for a new CPU here also.
Monday, October 12, 2009
Friday, October 9, 2009
I need to say this first, please TURN UP YOUR VOLUME. The video last 23 seconds, the cow eats while the calf seems to focus it's attention on the two of us. You will hear bulls bugling in the area as well as Haney's shutter release. The beeping noise is his auto focus, before the morning shooting was over he learned how to turn that off, good job Haney. As the video plays listen closely to the last couple of seconds and the sound that comes from the Elk. Now that was funny! Note to self, remember when you are recoding video and that it does record sound. Sorry I may be older on the outside but I am still a little boy mentally and darn glad I am. The video was taken my last morning of shooting. The cow photograph was taken the same time as yesterday's calf photo. Some people will only photograph bulls, I don't care what it is as long as it is wildlife and presents me with the right opportunity. This cow did, with color in the background, catch light in the eyes and a mouthful of food it was as if she begged me to take her photograph, and I am glad I did.
I hope you enjoyed my Elk post this week, I have plenty more. I will try and mix something in each week with the Elk but I have many other photos and videos I want to post on the Elk rut.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
I am not the educator that Willard is and I have already spoken of the difficulty shooting in low light and fog, the long hours and people you shoot with so it will become more difficult for me to come up with comments on my Elk County posts.
The calf was photographed late afternoon about mid week. I used the 80-200 f2.8 on the D300 and the 80-400 f4-5.6 on the D90. Because of that most of the still were taken with the D300 and the video with the D90. Knowing I wanted to concentrate on video my last day I switched the lens around on the cameras. I just can't say enough good about the 80-200 2.8, it is awesome glass. Because of the speed I was able to capture this calf with great depth of field, none of the blurring was done post processing this is the way it was photographed, to me it adds dimension to the image almost making the calf stand out from the foreground and background.
The video was taken Friday morning in the rain. Please turn up your volume when watching. It only last 27 seconds but you hear bulls bugling in the area, the rain falling and this bulls distinctive bugle.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
You just had to know I was going to stick with rut photos as much as I love wildlife. Photographing wildlife can be hours of fun, exciting at times and depending on situations even scary at times, Haney knows what I am talking about. It can also be very difficult, wildlife is most active in the early mornings and late evenings when lighting is not easy. In Elk country fog is a big factor many times and that also makes things difficult. Bob covered it in a post recently and he also got to photograph the bull that was stuck in the swing set in August the week before I got their. Coy who was there the previous week with his brother and he also covered the difficulties of photographing in fog and low light. I mentioned them both with links because you can visit there sites to view more Elk photos if you enjoy the wildlife.
Photographing wildlife can also take allot out of you. One must get up very early to be out and in place for first light. Many times you stay out until the sun goes down and the light is gone. All this takes place while hiking distances on rough terrain and up and down mountains and hills. The average person that visits Benezette during the rut photograph the Elk from the roads and that can be done but one learns little about the animal that way and never really sees them in their natural settings. This is all done while carrying heavy cameras, tripods, additional lens and camera gear along with whatever else may be needed for the days adventure. Many times meals are eaten from the tailgates of vehicles and the lack of sleep and constant activity begin to take there toll on you. I never nap during the day and even I passed out for almost two hours in my truck Friday afternoon to awake and find people, cars and Elk around me. I am not saying any of this to complain, on the contrary I love every minute of it. I am just trying to pass along to those that do not do this what it is like to photograph Gods beautiful creatures.
The photo was taken one early morning as we were trying to reach the top before the sun rose. If you are working to see the Elk and get into place the chance to get silhouettes occurs often. The video although not that good because it was shot at 2000 ISO along Dewey Road with tourist around gives one the idea of what lighting conditions can be. It also provides you the chance to see numerous bulls, cows and calves as they begin to leave the meadow to escape the people shooting their point and shoot cameras with flashes going off. Now I am not putting point and shoot cameras down I believe photography is a great thing no matter what camera you use or can afford, just be smart enough to turn the flash off. The video also gives you a chance to hear some of the sweetest music one can hear and that is the bugling of Elk during the rut season. The entire video only last 33 seconds, PLEASE TURN UP YOUR VOLUME, it will be worth it.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
I edited yesterdays post Sunday night adding the last paragraph and that pretty much sums up the week. The Elk were as fantastic and vocal as could be providing me with plenty of great photographic opportunities. If I did not get the photo or didn't get it right that was my fault. The guys I shot with were a great bunch, I hooked up with Willard http://pawildlifephotographer.blogspot.com/ (I couldn't get the link thingy to work with Willard) his knowledge of the Elk and area and his photographic and video skills are fantastic not to mention just a really great person. I also had the opportunity to shoot with Buckwheat whom I met last month on my trip to Benezette. Buckwheat is nothing short of amazing, he seems to know the Elk on a personnel level. He has a way of getting you in the right spot to get the perfect photo or at least the chance to get it and he is an excellent photographer. The only thing with Buckwheat is if you are going to tag along with him you better be in good shape and willing to move in a hurry for long periods even if it is uphill. There was times I thought I would need oxygen following him but I was determined to keep up and learn what I could and I am dang glad I did. I made another new friend that we shot with and that was Steve from Erie. Steve was another great guy that has really gotten into photographing wildlife and was capturing some great images. Steve and I were the rookies on the trip but I believe as much fun and excitement as we both had we will see each other again in the back country photographing Elk again.
On Friday night Haney came up and on Saturday morning we got to shoot together. I had captured many still the previous four days so I concentrated on learning how to use the HD video feature and capture some footage on the D90, and did I. The other three will never believe this without seeing the footage but we got into an Elk fight, not a sparring match but a fight and within about 25 yards from us. We did not set out to be that close they just happened to move the action closer to us and we stayed still. A couple of times during the week we joked when we got split up that the other missed a fight so I hope to be able to post some video of it for the others to see and believe. Unfortunately the best stuff I shot is to long and large to upload onto blogger and being an idiot on these machines I will have to learn how to do it.
The rut was not over when I left and I wish I could have stayed, maybe next year I will plan a vacation around it and do 12 days, if my body can take it. The photo above was captured while shooting with Buckwheat, this seven by seven was laying down in the late afternoon sun. I moved around until I got the only tree with color behind him and waited patiently for him to get up to start shooting. For any of you that I mentioned if you read this I just want to say THANKS for a fun and memorable time. You guys remind me of firemen the way you excepted me and passed along knowledge, it was so much fun.
Before I forget, this is Tuesday and you know what that means, go visit Shane's site for a new post. And don't be scared to comment on his photos.
Monday, October 5, 2009
Friday, October 2, 2009
Tomorrow is the big day, as a hockey fan my Washington Capitols and Hershey Bears both play their home openers. The Caps will raise the division banner and the Bears will raise their record 10TH Calder Cup banner. We will be on hand to see the banner reach the rafters. Oh, hockey season, it makes winters worth it, sometimes.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
It is Thursday again so please visit Shane's blog.