HeatherMS
HeatherMS

Late Afternoon at the Lake



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Contest Finalist in Social Exposure Photo Contest Vol 11
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Behind The Lens

Location
This was taken at the edge of Yellowstone Lake in Yellowstone National Park close to the southern end. We were actually on our way out of the park, when we spotted this amazing guy walking along the lakeshore.
Time
It was late afternoon,when the light value gives everything that beautiful golden hue.
Lighting
Strictly one of those pinch me times when you end up in exactly the right place, at the right time. The sun was in the perfect position to illuminate the chestnut color of the elk, and highlight his enormous rack.
Equipment
This was a hand held shot using a Sony a6500 with a Sigma 150-600 lens.
Inspiration
We were in the Yellowstone area in mid October during the rut, so my focus was on capturing the beauty and drama of that time. I had been watching a herd for a while that were just out of range hoping they'd move closer. Finally realizing that wasn't going to happen and knowing I was about to lose the light, I packed it up and headed out of the park just in case I might get lucky and run into something else. Sure enough, not 10 minutes later, I spotted this magnificent bull walking along the lake, not far off the road. The light was perfect, the distance was perfect and there wasn't enough of a crowd to be intimidating. Of course you can't.keep something like that a secret, so before long there was enough human activity to drive him back into the woods. Fortunately, that meant the crowd left as well, and within minutes of the quiet returning, he popped out into the perfect clearing. As luck would have it, I had positioned myself in just the right place and happily started snapping away. I was then and am still awed by these beings and how incredibly fortunate I was on that day.
Editing
On this one, not really, I bumped up the luminosity and saturation just a touch, and some minor cropping. Usually, I have to spend quite a bit of time in post, but I'm working hard on trying to improve the quality of the shots themselves. For me, it seems my best work comes from shots that don't require a lot of post.
In my camera bag
I carry two Sony a6500's one that I use with a telephoto lens, and the other that has a wide angle lens. For the Telephoto, I use either the Sigma 100-400, or more often, the Sigma 150-600. For the wide angle, I use either the Zeiss 16-70, or the Zeiss 12.
Feedback
I still consider myself a beginner, so I don't feel qualified to give advice other than to say, just get out there and snap away. The more pictures you take, the better feel you'll have on what works and what doesn't. I love shooting wildlife, partly because it's so challenging. You have to think on your feet and react quickly to constantly changing situations. Because of that, when you finally get a really good shot, there's a great feeling of accomplishment. Of course, you already know, the more preparation the better, but being adaptable seems to me to be almost as important. Having the chance to be in a group like Viewbug is absolutely amazing. There are so many great photographers that contribute to the site, you can't help but be inspired, and there are always well written articles on the hows and why's. Photography is an art, so jump in and enjoy the creative process.

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