Moose Photo Opp

We all LOVE to see those upclose and personal photos - the ones which make us feel we could reach out and touch some illusive wild critter we usually only see from afar. However, sometimes I think we assume there is some kind of 'wizardry' or at least some extreme LUCK which only the *few* are allowed to possess.

I will admit: It is sometimes an accident - that being in just the right place at the right time. And, it does take a good lens (like anything else - the better the equipment, the better chance of a great final product). However, that is really most of what it takes.

The other day when hubby offered to make the cold trek across the field to attempt a capture of moose images, I sat in the warm vehicle and recorded his progress (and his object). Comparing the photos later, I realized together we had a captured the 'capturing' of a photo. So, when a Facebook fan recently commented on a closeup photo, I realized that process might be of interest to some of you.

Thus, what follows is the documentation of a photo opp - captured by two different lenses from two different perspectives.

It all starts by finding a subject. Sometimes that subject comes across your path offering only a few precious seconds to capture its image. However, in the case of Centennial Valley winter moose - usually if you aren't too aggressive, you can snap a few pictures - that is if you can find them. This one was fairly well hidden! Can you see here (this image is actually more magnified than your eye would actually see).

At first the cow just chose to ignore him. However, as he continued to approach, she deigned to give him a look.

NOTE: Whenever we attempt to photograph wildlife, our FIRST concern is to not scare or irritate them. Thus, while, as you will see, this moose gave way to hubby's pressure, he never pushed in close enough to cause her to exhibit any signs of irritation or fear.

Moving slowly and quietly and avoiding direct eye contact, he continued to approach her bed. Obviously she knew he was there. Yet, just as obviously, she is not overly anxious about his presence.

Here he stopped to take the first picture. As you can see, she is still quite unconcerned, cuddled down into her frosty bed.

As he moved in and manuevered for a grass-free face shot, she finally decided he was too close. Standing she presented him with her best side (or maybe she's just making it clear what she thinks of him disturbing her nap)!

And then came the surprise - a calf hidden in grass so deep neither of us knew he was anywhere around until he stood. Obviously he is a bit more curious as to the identity of the two-legged critter approaching their bedding ground than his mother.

While the photographer grabs another closeup you can almost hear the calf saying: 'But, Mom, what is *that* thing?'

Another possible shot? Obviously he debates whether that is possible without bothering them further - and decides no. So, he turns to leave them to mosey off at a leisurely pace, obviously already forgetting the rude two-legged critter who nudged them out of their warm beds on a frosty afternoon.

And for all those who think hubby was really getting up-close and personal, here's a little perspective. My photos above were taken with a 210 mm zoom which brings everything closer. It also compacts the subjects so they 'look' closer together than they really are. For a little perspective: Your eye sees at about a 50 mm. This last photo is taken at 70mm. As you can see - there was still quite a distance between the photographer and his subjects.

And so ends another Centennial Valley photo shoot. While we don't always capture the images we want, we certainly can't complain about a lack of variety or beauty!

Lady of the Lake

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