Wildlife Friday

I never thought I would be interested in doing wildlife photography, but this trip to the Grand Tetons may have changed my mind.  I went up to the Tetons with the full purpose of capturing some magnificent landscapes and I did accomplish that task, but along the way I came upon some amazing wildlife in the park and couldn’t believe how accessible it was to capture God’s magnificent creatures!  I rented a 2X multiplier just on the outside chance I could catch some elk or a bison, but if I didn’t I wasn’t really going to be disappointed.  Boy did the 2X multiplier come in handy with my 70-200mm zoom.  The 2X multiplier basically is an extension of my zoom lens and gives me twice the magnification/zoom power of my normal lens.  I lose a bit of aperture, but bumping up the ISO on my camera compensated for the loss in aperture.

Being Friday, I thought I would change it up and call this a Wildlife Friday!  I have so many images of wildlife I can probably spread this out over a few Fridays and share with you some of the magnificent wildlife in the Grand Tetons.

On the first evening we came upon a herd of Bison and anticipated the path they were heading and decided to try to capture them coming around the backside  of a grove of trees.  The bison never came around and when we were driving off we spotted them in the grove of trees.  Wil our driver decided we weren’t going away empty-handed and drove the Yukon up next to the grove so we could get a view of the bison.  I captured this amazing view of this bison through the trees.

Don't Come Any Closer - ©Rick Louie Photography - All Rights Reserved.

Click to Enlarge - Don't Come Any Closer - ©Rick Louie Photography - All Rights Reserved.

Capture Notes:

  • Camera:  Canon EOS 5D Mk II
  • Lens:  Canon EF 70-200 mm f/2.8L IS USM + 2.0X Multiplier
  • ISO: 400
  • Focal Length:  385 mm
  • Aperture:  f/6.3
  • Shutter Speed: 1/50 sec.
  • Post Processing:  Aperture – Various minor adjustments, sized for the web.

The next morning after shooting sunrise at Oxbow Bend, we came upon an opening where a young cow moose eating algae off the bottom of this pond.  It was kind of a funny scene because there must have been 15-20 photographers standing around the pond and every time the cow put its face down into the water to eat the shutters went off.  It was like the paparazzi.

Moose Having Breakfast - ©Rick Louie Photography - All Rights Reserved.

Click to Enlarge - Moose Having Breakfast - ©Rick Louie Photography - All Rights Reserved.

 

Capture Notes:

  • Camera:  Canon EOS 5D Mk II
  • Lens:  Canon EF 70-200 mm f/2.8L IS USM + 2.0X Multiplier
  • ISO: 400
  • Focal Length:  400 mm
  • Aperture:  f/9
  • Shutter Speed: 1/320 sec.
  • Post Processing:  Aperture – Various minor adjustments, sized for the web.

One of the main wildlife attractions in the Grand Tetons were the grizzly bears.  Bears #610 and #399 both had new cubs and were out showing them how to grow up and hunt.  Bear #610 had two cubs and #399 had 3 cubs.  Bear #399 was actually the mother to bear #610.  The second evening I was in the park we came upon Bear #610 out in Willow Flats with her two cubs.  This grove had the grizzly bears along with a ton of elk and for a while two wolves, who later scampered off injured and limping.  I was able to capture this shot of Bear #610 with here two cubs peaking up above the grass.  The mother was running down elk and the cubs were chasing behind.  The mother bear wasn’t out to kill the elk, but training the cubs how to hunt down elk.

Evening Exercise - ©Rick Louie Photography - All Rights Reserved.

Click for Licensing through Getty Images

Capture Notes:

  • Camera:  Canon EOS 5D Mk II
  • Lens:  Canon EF 70-200 mm f/2.8L IS USM + 2.0X Multiplier
  • ISO: 1600
  • Focal Length:  385 mm
  • Aperture:  f/5.6
  • Shutter Speed: 1/200 sec.
  • Post Processing:  Aperture – Various minor adjustments, cropped to 8X10 format, sized for the web.

Finally for this Wildlife Friday is one of the final shots I was able to capture before I left to come home.  The morning I was leaving I got up early once again to capture the famous Old Patriarch Tree at sunrise.  The tree is not marked on the maps so all I had were some GPS coordinates and directions on how to get to the tree.  Let’s just say I never found the tree.

So I’m out in Grand Teton National Park in this field of sage brush.  The sun is not above the horizon yet and I can hear wildlife all around me.  I must have been crazy.  I didn’t have any bear spray and all I could think of was the grizzly that mauled someone earlier in the week in Yellowstone.  If you have never been in a field of sage, it’s not really fun hiking.  The sage brush has sharp branches and some of it up as high as your waste.  I come up over this terrace and saw a group of elk turn their heads toward me.  It scared the living daylights out of me.  I wasn’t really planning on seeing wildlife so I had to switch lenses.  I slowly put on my large zoom lens with the 2X multiplier, turned up the ISO on my camera since it was still dark and started taking pictures.  I tried to creep closer, but I was snapping branches and they felt I was too close and took off.  I did manage to capture a few pictures of these magnificent bull elk.  I’m guessing the one in front will have a nice large rack by fall.

I hoped you enjoyed Wildlife Friday.  Have a great weekend!

Hyper Aware - ©Rick Louie Photography - All Rights Reserved.

Click to Enlarge - Hyper Aware - ©Rick Louie Photography - All Rights Reserved.

Capture Notes:

  • Camera:  Canon EOS 5D Mk II
  • Lens:  Canon EF 70-200 mm f/2.8L IS USM + 2.0X Multiplier
  • ISO: 3200
  • Focal Length:  385 mm
  • Aperture:  f/5.6
  • Shutter Speed: 1/30 sec.
  • Post Processing:  Aperture – Various minor adjustments, cropped to 3X2 format, sized for the web.
This entry was posted in bears, bison, Canon 5D Mk II, Canon EF 2X Extender II, Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS USM, cubs, elk, Grand Teton National Park, grizzly, moose, nature and tagged , , , , , , , , .
  • Love the shot of the bison and the one of the elk. Nice work with the multiplier!

  • I love the little bears in the tall grass!

  • Great blog post about your wildlife experiences last weekend, Rick…..really enjoyed reading this recap. Took me back immediately to Antelope Flats and Willow Flats and Moose-Wilson Road.

  • Wow, you got some awesome shots here man! I love the bison shot and the bear shot.

  • Thanks, guys! More to come in upcoming weeks.

  • Nice captures! I was hoping to see some bison near the north rim of the Grand Canyon, but didn’t spot any. 🙂