I Have To Ask Myself These Questions

Photograph of a Elk Cow in Northern Colordo
Wild Elk in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado

I’ve been in such a production mode on my photographs since January, I haven’t really taken the time to sit and analyze my portfolio of images.  I have a few basic guidelines I try to stick to when considering an image that I’ll use as a stock photograph. I try not to over-think things, but the real danger lies in under-thinking things.

I am a Colorado photographer. Yeah, I’ve done a lot of traveling, but I don’t see me venturing out of the region much in the upcoming years. Getting old ya know, things that were never an issue when I was younger are taking on a more prominent role in my thinking.

A large part of my thinking is flying. I’m to the point that I don’t really want to drive to the airport and get on an airplane to fly somewhere. There are probably a few reasons for that, one being that I don’t want to spend the last moments of my life screaming in pure terror, another is that I don’t want to lug a bunch of weight around airports and all things associated to that. I usually check my luggage but the camera gear stays in my possession all the way.  This makes for a more basic kit of camera equipment and it still ends up being a lot of weight to have to deal with for a long periods of time. God forbid that I tear both rotator cuffs moving luggage around only to die in misery on a flight that crashes into an ice covered Minnesota corn field. I know, I’m over dramatic, but don’t tell me you don’t think about the same thing when you walk down the causeway to get in an airplane.

As a result of my changing mental state as I’ve grown older, I prefer the road trip. I have vehicles that will do just about anything I’d want to do at any time of year. Colorado is a big friggn’ place too. Think about the room I have to explore, If you took the entire Commonwealth of Great Britain as a land mass, you could place it comfortably inside of Colorado and still have a fairly large piece of land left over. When you think about the population, Great Britain has some 66 million people  crammed into a space less than the size of Colorado, and inversely a population in Colorado of 5.6 million people occupying an area 1/3 again larger than Great Britain. Well, you can get the picture.

Literally, you can get the picture in Colorado without having to deal with everything that flying a long distance has to offer in the way of inconvenience, harassment and unknown events. When one does a road trip, one can keep everything they’ll need in the boot and get there at a comfortable pace without having to worry about much more than not wrecking your vehicle. I’ve a pretty good driving record, wrecking cars isn’t something I’ve ever done a lot of.

As to the point of today’s blog entry… Well, that’s the grind it out part of blogging. One has to conjure up blog entries, otherwise one isn’t blogging correctly. I come up with things to write about all the time, but by the time I go to write them, they no longer interest me. I need more immediate gratification when it comes to writing something. Blogging is more of a literary quickie. Writing short stories is more of a sustained act of passion.

I much prefer to write about today’s things than I do writing about something I came up with 2 days ago. So with that in mind.

Today’s things are Elk.

I have a few really nice elk photos, good enough to maintain a portfolio of 45 or so images in my stock catalog.

So, here I am yammering on about being a Colorado photographer and I have such a puny catalog of a very nice and abundant species of wild animal. The elk. Yeah, there are lots of elk scattered around the entire country and there are probably even 10 times more elk in Colorado than there are moose.

So why haven’t I focused more attention on elk?

It’s a good question. I have to ask myself these questions. And I probably should answer them as well.

The answer is simple. If you need elk, you go get elk.

I need another 450 elk photos.

 

Hard Night on the Town

Photograph of an elk under a tree
Elk lounging beneath a tree in the Denver suburbs.

Working on the wildlife catalogs this morning I came across this comical photograph of an elk lounging beneath tree in my neighborhood.

Elk wander into the burbs of the foothills from time to time, however, it’s not often they stop and linger for any length of time.

This guy looks like he has a hangover after a hard night on the town.

Mooseaholic Monday

moose, wildlife, animal, photography, photographer, nature, water, grass, young, bull
Young bull moose walking through a pond.

Six Hundred photos for the opening of summer in Red Feather Lakes.

My first impression this year is that the moose are there and just waiting for me to find them. The few I found within a mile of my place prove that they are on the move looking for the best food.

Environmentally speaking, the Aspen trees have just greened up above 8,000 feet and most of the willows are sprouting fresh green shoots, which is what attracts these hungry ungulates.

I managed to get a full test in of the new kit. I’m shooting with the Nikon D810 using the 200-500mm VR and the Nikon D750  using the 70-200mm f4/VR. No complaints. I don’t have to swap lenses in the field. If I need wider angle, I have a D7200 the 24-120mm VR and a couple of fast & wide primes. I’ve been shooting in predawn light and both cameras handle it well.

I’ll probably take a few days of down time and edit shots. I’m looking forward to getting back out though. The summer is only starting.

Wapiti Wednesday

wildlife photography
Bull Elk – Colorado Rocky Mountains

Wapiti is a Native American word for elk.

This photo was taken in Rocky Mountain National Park.

During the annual Autumn rut, elk become infused with hormones and will do a lot of strange things to impress a girl. I found this guy next to a small tree honing his antlers on the trunk and he took his sweet time doing it.

My Job Is To Explore

Elk Photograph by Gary Gray
Young Bull Elk in Rocky Mountain National Park

For me, the month of May is the time of year when I begin gearing up for wildlife photography here in Colorado.

I’ll be heading to Northern Colorado later this week, where I will be spending a lot of time this summer. The Laramie Mountains of Northern Colorado are, from my view of the road, one of the least frequented areas of the state for photography. What that means to me is I get to work without crowds of tourists and weekend warriors to wade through.

Not that the northern mountains don’t get tourists, but the ratio of tourists per square mile is much lower than areas to the south such as Rocky Mountain National Park.

As a matter of fact, I’ve pretty much abandoned working in National Parks due to over-crowding and hostile park rangers. They can keep it. There are lots of unexplored and lesser known areas between Fort Collins and Steamboat Springs.

My job is to explore.

Moose Photography in Colorado

Moose Photography Workshop by Gary Gray
Shiras Moose – Northern Colorado

Are you interested in Moose Photography in Colorado?

Private Moose Photo Tours and Workshops  (click here to find out more)

My 2018 Colorado Moose Photography private tours are now available for booking.

I will be offering single or multi-day bookings from July 9th – August 27th, 2018.

Booking will be by telephone/email only.  303-948-1972