As I have mentioned in prior blogs, the primary focus of our short, 4-day trip (shortened to only 3 shooting mornings, courtesy of the airlines) was landscape imagery. But one thing that really strikes you about this area of our country is the abundance of wildlife. Elk and Mule deer are a common, daily sight, as are Bison. Coyote and Pronghorn Sheep (we erroneously called them Antelope) were almost as common. Less common to sight, but ever present are Moose and Bear (Black and Grizzly). Grand Teton and Yellowstone Parks are nearly adjacent, and the many of these animals are even more abundant in parts of Yellowstone. While we did not get up there, a group from MPEG were there about 2 weeks later and spent at least 3 days in Yellowstone. The images on the forum are replete with shots of Bear, Coyote, and even Wolves.
For a photographer, an Elk or Moose in full antler, or a Grizzly Bear is a major occurrence and hoped for in most of our portfolio some day. In the spring, the males are harder to spot and in many cases there are no antlers (though perhaps some “velvet”).
We were fortunate enough, though, to have some opportunities to shoot the seemingly ubiquitous Bison and Elk that roam the park everywhere. On the morning we were shooting the Mormon Row barns, we noticed a small grouping of Bison down at the end of the road and headed down there, were we were able to get reasonably close and still keep our distance.
On the afternoon we drove up into Yellowstone, we had our best opportunity to shoot some Elk, who were feeding and resting right near the roadside. They are fairly well acclimated to people and if you keep a respectful distance, they will stand. In the hopefully not too distant future, we will return for a longer visit to Yellowstone and capture more wildlife images.