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Posts tagged “Bison

Yellowstone in Winter 2018 – Day 2

Day 2 in Yellowstone confirmed our suspicion that the wounded bison didn’t make it as a new carcass was discovered about 25 yds from the tree where we left her the day before.  As we approached the area, several wolves were crossing the road in front of us about 50 yds away.  It was too dark to take photos so we got out our cell phones for some video.  They went up the hill to our left to bed down with their full stomachs.

We kept pushing forward in search of frosty bison as the temperature had dipped to – 18 deg F in the park just after sunrise.  We headed towards Old Faithful and found a lone bison with some decent frost on him and got some full frame shots.  Kept going and found several bison a little further off of the road so we stopped to take some photos.  Some hiking out into the now put us in position to get some cool shots of the group.  We later found a group of bison heading towards us walking down the road that were back-lit so we bailed out of the snowcoach again.  We worked along the Madison River on our way back to the wolves.

1/800 sec @ F6.3, ISO 2500, manual mode with spot metering off of the snow + 2 stops

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1/500 sec @ F6.3, ISO 800, manual mode

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We spotted a lone wolf at the top of the hill lying down resting with his head raised and paws out in front of him.  He looked like a big puppy dot and was sleepy from having a full belly.  We photographed him for quite a while until he got up and moved.

1/1600 sec @ F7.1, ISO 200, manual mode

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We headed back towards our vehicle and started eating lunch near our tripods.  Food wasn’t supposed to be an element in our shooting until Jared spotted a black wolf coming out of the woods right behind us.  We quickly spun around and started shooting as he moved towards the road.  Got the shots while operating my camera in one hand and holding onto the sandwich and lens with the other.

It was an amazing experience to see a black wolf in the white snow at that distance.  The first shot below is full frame with no cropping.  He could have cared less if we were there or not as he never lost focus on his awaiting feast.  Got 67 shots of him as he came down the hill and casually walked away from us down the road.

1/1600 sec @ F7.1, ISO 200, manual mode

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1/1600 sec @ F7.1, ISO 200, manual mode

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1/1600 sec @ F7.1, ISO 200, manual mode

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Thought that those were shots of a lifetime until he returned about 14 minutes later.  He ran up the hill only turning his head slightly to look at us near the top as he barely acknowledged our presence.  With his yellow eyes and black sculpted body, he looked like the wolves that nightmares are made of.  A literal once in a lifetime experience and I’m still fired up about it.

1/1600 sec @ F7.1, ISO 200, manual mode

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Nature’s Snowplow

This bison was found in a snowbank and plowed his way to the road.  Very sturdy beasts for sure.  At this stop, I started out using my 500mm lens on a tripod and then switched to the 100-400, which was a good move.  Ended up with a good variety of shots.

Taken with Canon 1DX and Canon 100-400 II lens, handheld

Manual mode, 1/1000 sec @ F6.3, ISO 400, spot metering off the snow

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Since the colors were muted in the snow, converted it to B&W using NIK Silver Efex Pro II

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Yellowstone Adventure

Sorry that I’ve been away for a while but a recent trip has kept me somewhat preoccupied.  Finally checked going to Yellowstone off of my bucket list.  Decided last spring to take the plunge and register for a 10 day trip to Yellowstone in the winter.  Goal was to avoid the crowds and to see the raw beauty of Yellowstone in the winter.

Ended up spending the rest of 2016 buying up warm clothes for the trip.  More on that later.

I’m still working on my photos and it will take some time to go through all of them.  Here are a couple of teaser shots.

More to come…

Frosty Bison:  it was – 20 deg F on the first day that we entered the park from the town of West Yellowstone.  We headed towards Old Faithful looking for “frosty” bison.  We found a herd along the way and were rewarded with some great photo op’s.

Taken with Canon 1DX and Canon 500mm F4 IS II with 1.4X teleconverter mounted on tripod with Wimberley II gimbal head.

Manual mode, 1/1600 sec @ F9, ISO 3200, spot metering off the snow with adjustments from there, 700mm

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Red Fox yawning:  We found this red fox sitting on top of a snow covered boulder, which he used as protection from coyotes.  He was one of my favorite targets on this trip.  We spent about 4 hours photographing him that day.

1/800 sec @ F7.1, ISO 800, evaluative metering, + 2 1/3 exposure compensation, 700mm

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