Out to the Rocky Mountain Arsenal NWR this morning.
There have been news reports of newborn bison at the Arsenal so my buddy Tim and I made a run through the arsenal this morning.
Lots of bison, lots of deer, not a lot of photography as the animals weren’t exactly in good light for most of the morning. Still, we managed to spot three newborn bison calves. One looks like it was born in the past 24 hours as the mother was looking quite raw and low on strength.
The placenta is still fresh and hanging from the calf and the mother is on her feet. One of three calves we spotted.
For the past month or so, I’ve been concentrating on photographing Bison in a Winter environment. Photos of Buffalo covered in snow sell, plain and simple.
As I’ve grown older I’ve moved away from an active 9 to 5 type of existence into a more laissez faire approach to life in general.
I’m no longer interested in getting a “big job.” I’ve stopped photographing weddings and events. I’m more interested in finding the images that make me happy and the financial side is more or less secondary now that my wife is retired and I’m semi-retired. I don’t need the income to make ends meet and that probably is the driving force behind my approach. Man has to eat.
These days, I have been taking a seasonal approach to my photography. Living in Colorado affords me opportunities for wildlife and landscape work all year long and I find myself drifting from prime-time subject to prime-time subject for everything Colorado has to offer.
A nice little snow storm landed on Denver yesterday and they have been far and few between this season to use an overused cliche.
As a result, my friend Tim and I took the opportunity to spend Sunday morning at Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, Northwest of Denver.
We lucked out with a herd of about 100 or so Bison being positioned in good light near the road.
The kit today. Nikon D750 with the 200-500mm VR and the Nikon D7200 with the 18-140mm VR.
Bison are one of the more difficult larger animals I’ve photographed over the years. Reason being, their fur. Bison fur is very course and thick and doesn’t provide a lot of edge contrast for the autofocus on most cameras to accurately pick up on. End result, I get a higher than normal amount of out of focus shots with Bison. Therefore, I take lots of shots when I’m shooting Buffalo, just to add a little more water to the gravy so to speak.
Couple the fur/focus issue with the fact that we were working in large open fields of snow, and you’re just asking for trouble with the cameras focus and exposure. Today, I cranked in +.7 stops of exposure compensation to make up for metering in an almost solid white environment.
The Bison are part of the herd at Wolf Springs Ranch in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains near Westcliffe, Colorado. With over 55,000 acres of land, you can purchase this property for a mere 49 million dollars.
If you’re looking for a good place for Colorado outdoor photography, try exploring what the Sangre de Cristo Mountains have to offer.