MikeContos
MikeContos

A Moose On The Snake



While stopped in the grand tetons for a couple of unforgettable days on a coast-to-coast road trip we coined "The Great American Roadtrip," i snapped this shot ...
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While stopped in the grand tetons for a couple of unforgettable days on a coast-to-coast road trip we coined "The Great American Roadtrip," i snapped this shot of a momma moose pulling weeds from the infamous winding Snake River, while her rambunctious young calf napped on the far side. what made this shot even more exciting was that i was hunkered down actually taking shots of a friendly beaver working on his dam (just out of the shot to the right) when i got flanked by momma moose and squeezed into one of my most memorable moments of my life!

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Behind The Lens

Location
This photo was taken along the banks of the Snake River at Schwabacher's Landing in the stunningly beautiful Grand Tetons National Park in Wyoming.
Time
This was in the late afternoon with the sun low on the horizon and about to sink behind that famous, majestic ridge line of the Grand Teton Mountain range.
Lighting
The low, horizontal sun provided an excellent, strong source of natural light that gave me the great silhouette from the moose and the mountains.
Equipment
I was shooting with my Sony A7, the 24-70mm kit lens, and a tripod.
Inspiration
I felt the draw of the Grand Tetons since I was a young kid hearing the stories my mom would tell about the incredible beauty of the area she experienced in the summer of 1974 on a road trip after college and how it never left her. Years later when I got the chance to do a proper American road trip, one we coined “The Great American Road Trip”, full of America’s greatest National Parks from California to New York - I knew the first place that would go on my list.
Editing
I worked with the shadows and highlights to make sure the silhouette came out right, and the color and contrast all in Lightroom 5.
In my camera bag
I'm new to photography so my bag is still pretty lite on equipment. But, it's also by design. I do a lot of backpacking and traveling with my gear so I like to keep it lite, because after all - I've got to carry it around all day and night. So, in my pack I always have my Sony A7 with my one and only lens, the kit lens, my little point and shoot camera with a killer zoom, my tripod, a couple extra batteries, remote, and a filter or two. This gets me out for great bang for the buck. I have a full frame, lite and versatile ILCE and a small, cheap point and shoot that has great zoom. These two cameras allow me to go out and get the shots I'm looking for and have the versatility to work with anything that springs up along the way.
Feedback
Any time you are going out there and looking to capture wildlife shots you need to be prepared to be out there hours on end and be ready for any weather that could come your way. Make sure you have some snacks and water, warm clothes and rain gear, and a good zoom lens. Be willing to walk around and explore but alert and aware to know when to post-up and be patient. And most importantly, these are wild animals that deserve space and respect - remember you're in their home.

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