Glacier Park Photographer

Glacier Park Photographer
Fall In Glacier National Park ©

Monday, October 25, 2010

Glacier National Park, fall's over already?

Thank you for participating in my recent poll. Since the results are split I guess people just want to know more about everything. . . how refreshing. I'm happy to learn that people are interested in all sorts of wonderful things. This means I'll have plenty of subject matter to guide my posts this winter, I just have to keep up with the updates!  In this post I'll tell you a little about what I've been up to, list some shooting data for the images in the post, and I'll share with you the secret to becoming a better photographer.

Before I get to the secret, I'll mention that since I last posed I've traveled thousands of miles across Montana and Alberta Canada and shot everything from elk to frogs and even a few dead animals on the highway and a huge mound of bear scat - gota keep building the stock! This fall's colors were some of the best I can remember. Color abounded. I did notice that most places peaked a bit early this year, as compared to historical peaks. I cant explain this, can you?

More recently, Saturday I think it was, my friend Stacy and I took a trip into Glacier Park and found, 5 grizzly bears, about 50 goats, 150 bighorn sheep, a few moose, some whitetail and mule deer, a mink, lots of birds including a group of 20 gray and stellar's jays, some swans, and some people -- actually lots of people for this time of year. It seems that every year more people play longer in the park. This brings me to the latest news from today.  Here's an image from that trip.

Bull moose feeding on willow branches.  Nikon d300 and Nikon 70-200 2.8 VR af-s, f5 @ 125th hand held @ 200mm (digital equivalent: 300mm).  
And how about a short video of two of the five grizzlies I saw.  Checkout the color of that cub!

And before the day was over, we managed after searching for what seemed like hours to find a few bighorn sheep.  These boys are getting ready for the rut later in November.  Thank my lovely assistant Stacy for filming this segment.

I went to take a stroll up around two medicine lake but the road was closed. I suspect that the forecast for possible snow caused the park service to lock the gates even before there was snow on the road. It use to be that the road stayed open until the snow closed it. Not anymore, anyone care to share with the rest of us why they close the road when it' bare?
Two Medicine Road at Park Boundary - CLOSED!  Nikon d700 24-120 af-s, VR II lens, f11 @ 160th
As you can tell, I'm a little disappointed by this as this is the time of year I like to get out into the Park and with the roads closed it's difficult to go in very far in a day.  Oh well, maybe they will reopen them before the years out . . .

With all the leaves gone and the snow just starting to fall, I guess fall really is over.  I'm looking forward to seeing what the next few weeks will bring!  Fall and early winter are my favorite times of the year.  The light is good all day, the animals are still active and chasing down the last of the seasons green vegetation and the air is cool, crisp and cold!

And now for the secret to how to be a successful outdoor, nature and wildlife photographer.  GET OUT OF BED! That's it, that's the secret.  I'm convinced that it is the single most important thing you can do if you want to make something of your photographic efforts.  You have to get up and be in the correct location when the light gets good.

For me that's easy, or at lest it has been for the past 40 years.  I love to get up early.  My mother told me that even before I was out of the crib I was waking up at 5 and sometimes 4am.  She said I'd stand in my crib with a loud smile ready to get up and get the day going.  I still like to get up early and have a burning desire to see the sunrise every day.  While I'm not a huge fan of silhouettes, I do believe this one of a massive bugling bull elk is a once in a lifetime image that's worthy of anyones archives, but more importantly and to the point, it's an example of what's possible when you get up early (this is NOT a recreation or a composite, and it's not "photo-shopped," this is the real thing)!  

Trophy bull elk bugles atop a ridge as the sun burns the clouds red before it peaks over the horizon.  Nikon d700 200-400 af-s VR II, ISO 800, 1/200th @ f4, hand held.  
I'm exited to see what the next few weeks brings!  Snow, no snow, ice, wind, sun or rain, I'll be out there and getting up early!

Cheers, Tony

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