Processing: Photograph was taken on the sunny day . The image was cropped and high contrast was reduced by standard raw processing and Nik HDR filter.
Review by TomP, 10-18-13
Every time I've seen elk, they've been lying down like these two. I'm thinking I'll never see one standing except in others' pictures. <...sigh...> This would have been much stronger with an angle that moved the female's head forward to reveal it fully or back so it was completely concealed. Of course with nature we don't always get to pick and choose our shots.
N=2 / T=2 / P=2 / E=0 / Total = 6
Review by ConstanceK, 11-18-13
This is a challenging situation to shoot from the car which also limits your angle to shoot. However, time permitting and some patients shooting from the car can prove fruitful. As you know photographing big game can be dangerous and thus I understand the need to shoot from the car if needed and not to disturb the animals in their natural environment. Unfortunately this situation did not do you any favors. The elk are not facing the sun and are half in the shade and half in the sun. At first glance the first thing I see is his butt; because my eye goes to where the light is. My other concern in this shot is that the female's eye is not visible. I agree with the other comment that it is hard to separate the two animals. The shadows are not helping you here either. Again I realize in the wild you have to shoot what you can get and when you can get it. You did the best you could with what you had available. One of the first rules I learned when shooting wild life is that the eyes are more important than anything and must be tack sharp. If you have another image, one where the female eye is visible it might improve a tough situation some. When shooting wildlife I shoot rapid fire so that I can capture several images just for that reason. I love any shots of elk - good job.
N=2, T=2, P=2, E=0, Total=6
Review by DanC., 11-23-13
Spotting the potential of the situation was you first hurtle and you were successful there. While the following suggestions would be helpful for future images, they may not have been possible in tis particular situation since the park rules require you to remain in your vehicle while on the 12km car path (yes, I looked up the location before making my comments)
The scene being partly in direct sunlight and in shade caused the first problem. It put the bull's head in shadow while brightly lighting his rump. It also put the cow's head in shadow, further merging the two elk. You might have been able to better balance these areas while doing your HDR adjustments using the Blacks slider and the Levels and Curves Finishing Adjustments. That would not eliminate the subject merger but would reduce the strong attraction to the wrong area of the image.
While you could not get out of the car to get a better angle, you may have been able to move the vehicle forward some to get better separation, unless of course there was another car in front of you that prevented such a move. The move would have also let you reveal the cow's eye which would have added a big plus to the image.
N=2, T=2, P=2, E=0, Total=6
My photographic interests started in Maryland, 2002, when I joined the National Institute of Health Camera Club. After moving back to Montreal in 2004, I joined Lakeshore Camera Club.
I am using a Canon 7D camera and the following Canon lenses: 24-100L IS f4, 70-200 L IS f 4, macro 100 L2.8, 17-35L f2.8, 300L IS f2.8, extenders 1.4 and 2.0. My post processing workflow includes Bridge or Lightroom, Photoshop CS5 and NIK and Photomatix software.
I came into photography with a love for nature and a passion for the outdoors. My photographic interests started in 2002, and since then I photographed many subjects, ranging from environment and architecture to animals and sports. In 2009 I graduated from a Commercial Photography Program at Dawson College in Montreal. I organize photo tours and workshops and enjoy sharing my regional knowledge and passion for photography.