The solitude of the wilderness provides a certain peace and privacy for wildlife. Their life embodies a certain symbolic grace as they bestow the essence of their special Spirit on the land that nourishes them.
I was photographing sunrise in the tundra at the Ute Trail a couple of weeks ago. However, I met “5” bull elk and (needless to say) deferred the trail to them. The intention of my photography changed from a scenic mountain sunrise to the journey of the elk. They started to separate and several happened to wander in front of a shadowed area of the mountain. The dark background of the shadows and the front lighting from the sunrise created a beautiful definition of these amazing creatures. What a journey for both the animals and myself…
Here was a wonderful opportunity with animal photography as the elk were sparing together in a field. It was a spontaneous moment that nature photographers love – being in the right place at the right moment. When you are on your photo excursions, look around and really be present with the world around you.
Here is a great photograph that emphasizes being in the right place at the right time. These are two bull elk having a confrontation over a herd of females at Rocky Mountain National Park during mating season. With nature photography, patience is a key element. Sometimes one needs to keep returning to certain areas for new opportunities. Of course, early morning and late afternoon or early evening are also critical times for great lighting.