I’ve written five posts about migrating to Shutter Mode – most of them featured shots taken right here at the Stone House. It’s one thing to put something into practice in a semi controlled environment – it’s quite another to risk the uncertainty of a new skill out on the road when you are shooting subjects that you rarely see.
Thursday a friend texted me at work asking me if I would be up to a drive over to the Boxley valley after work. These long summer days have afforded me more late day opportunities to shoot and I was totally excited about ending a very busy work day with a drive out to elk country. We left at 6 and had about 45 minutes of decent light once we arrived. We spotted an elk coming out of the woods into the meadow, it was followed by another, and another, and another until there were about a dozen young elk. This appeared to be a colony of teenagers – a mix of young bulls and cows. The meadow was their hangout and they were there to feed. I quickly snapped up several pastoral scenes.
So you may be asking what this series has to do with shutter speed – I had the shutter set at 1/640 second with the ISO at 2500. The meadow was in the shade of the mountains to the west – so although we were shooting before sunset, we were doing it in the shade – shooting with that higher ISO in low light can result in lots of grain, but if there was some action a reasonably fast speed would be required to capture it. I was just about to lower the speed and ISO when something happened.
A pair of young elk decided that a pastoral evening dining on grass what not what they were looking for. A young cow taunted a young bull with amazing results…
It was the equivalent of overturning all the tables at Denny’s – the other elk weren’t sure if they should react or finish their dinner. None of them decided to join our happy pranksters, but none of them reacted negatively either – what a great society!
I was losing light during this series and the shots are noticeably grainy as the scene comes to an end – but there’s the dilemma. Do you catch the action and live with the grain, or do you lower the ISO and shutter speeds and deal with blur and darkness? I chose to capture.
I’ve been shooting the elk for a couple of years now and have been admiring the work of other local photogs shooting in the valley for far longer and this is something I have never seen – so capturing it, even a bit grainy was a thrill. Who knew that a Thursday could end so perfectly!
Pingback: Black Friday in Boxley Valley | the eff stop
Great choice of music and great captures!
Thanks so much! I actually did is because I couldn’t decide on photos 🙂
Pingback: Seeing Spots | the eff stop
Stunning and so much fun! I agree the music was perfect for the video. Elk and horses certainly have scrawny legs for all the dancing they do with those big bodies. No wonder I can’t run and dance around like that! Stumps just don’t move as well! 🙂 Can you imagine elephants doing those kinds of moves? 🙂 Great pictures! 🙂
LOL – I worked with an elephant that danced when I was in college, well she mostly swayed to the music – never this much enthusiasm 🙂
Well, now any dancing with an elephant should be interesting just because! 🙂
Hey! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after browsing through some of the post I realized it’s new
to me. Anyways, I’m definitely glad I found it and I’ll be
bookmarking and checking back often!
Stunning, a perfect post, as always. 🙂
Thanks Mrs Fringe 🙂
Another great post with fantastic photos and I simply L-o-o-o-o-o-ve the song you put together in the video clip. I think I am with you on this one, to catch all the action was the right choice.
Thanks Elizabeth – I thought they were having such fun. A fun song was required.
Now I just love that song! I mean I did before, but now when I play it I will have these two playful elk in my head. Good deal Lorri! You did great! I am smiling as I go off to bed. 🙂
Thanks Jackie – it was the only song that seemed to fit to mood – those two were having a great time.
Great shots, Lorri.
I think I would have done the same. I wouldn’t have wanted to miss the action.
Thanks Vicki – you always hope for perfect lighting conditions, but that rarely happens.
That was the best use of that song since The Big Chill! Well done!
Thanks Elyse – I knew I needed something happy – and nothing beats the bullfrog.
I am with you, capture and live with the grain- unless you have a portable light source stronger than the sun!
Great photos and a great way to wind up a week. Thanks for sharing it with us.
You know a football-field-sized mirror might do the trick. 🙂 Thanks Allan!
Nice Lorri. And, indeed, it sounds like a lovely way to finish a business filled day. Thanks for the glimpse of Elk!
Thanks Cynthia. I love having time in the evenings – the best part of summer.
As always, am in awe of your gift. Today’s banner shot is amazing too!
Thanks Diana – you are too kind. The hardest part of this shoot was to try and get both of them in frame – the banner was just a lucky one.
I love how their heads are turned in the same direction.
You captured the scene, but Lorri, this scene captured you. Each series gives readers an insight into your humor. This one does it perfectly.
Thank you Steph – it did capture me. We were laughing out loud at these two.
It’s so much nice to have a little annoyance and some action than just peaceful grazing!
Boy that’s the truth. I have seen these guys jump fences or fight during the rut, but this was an unexpected performance.
Magnificent captures delivered with another good lesson… thank you…
Thanks Bulldog! Boy I wish I could get these guys under studio lights 🙂