Close Encounter

On a rather lazy Sunday, Beck reminded me today that I needed to go photograph. Sio was kinda telling me that a few weeks ago when she reminded me of how much she enjoyed going out and helping when I shoot. I think I get a different sense about me when I’m behind the camera. I get focused — really focused — on something I enjoy so much, and I’m sure that comes across in my demeanor.

So Beck whisked me off to Lone Elk Park, a place I hadn’t photographed in easily a year. The last time I remember us being there, we a great encounter with a big elk herd. Apparently, the elk must like me, for we had encounters with two chunks of the herd, accounting for about 20 head of elk.

Our first encounter was with a field of mommas and babies — over a dozen of ’em. That was a serene scene, and we must’ve hung around for an hour watching them lie in the shade, and just enjoy being elk. Very peaceful and tranquil indeed.

Your Humble Author
(Click to enlarge)

(Click to see enlarged version)

Our second encounter was with three bulls that kept approaching closer and closer. Eventually, they came within 30 feet or so of us. Quietly, I just stood there, firing shot after shot. I’d never been that close to the elk in the park, and since they didn’t seem to mind me being there, and they were walking up on me and very aware of my presence, I just stayed put and watched them scratch their backs with their massive racks, grazing on leaves on the ground, and reaching up into the trees for tasty morsels. I’d never seen them reach up into the trees. I almost got the impression they would reach up higher by standing on their hind feet. Dunno if they can do that, but to go any higher, they would’ve had to.

Majestic is the single word that comes to mind in watching these giants gracefully walk by, giving me a great opportunity to enjoy them in a relatively typical environment. It was indeed a wonderful time, and I’m so very thankful that Beck reminded me of how I should better spend my afternoon!

And, before culling anything, I ended up with over 800 images from the park. Enjoy going through all those!

(BTW, my script for processing my freshly shot images started failing! I thought it was because I’d installed Lightroom, or some other more insidious thing. As it ends up, setting the image quality to 16-bit from 8-bit in Camera RAW apparently disables saving RAW files as JPGs — a necessary piece for my current web libraries. Ahhhhh…. Live and learn, I guess!)