New Photo Technique …

… shooting long-distance wildlife with a wide angle lens!

Ever feel really helpless? … like maybe shooting landscapes with a wide angle lens, leaving the telephoto lenses back in the car, when wildlife unexpectedly appears? Well, that heart-wrenching experience happened to me during our last evening in the Badlands. As sunset time drew near, we drove to the Pinnacles area of the Badlands. This area is one of my favorite areas for shooting sunsets. Since the parking lot was a fair distance away from the area I wanted to set up for the sunset shot, I made a deliberate decision not to take all of my photo gear with me. This decision was in part made because I had to maneuver down several flights of steps, mostly snow and ice-covered. I decided it would be safer to maneuver the steps with only a tripod/camera/wide angle lens combo. So off I went with only those items (also had an extra battery and memory cards, which always stay in my pockets).

I carefully dodged all of the icy spots and made my way down all the steps and walked a bit further to find a suitable place to set up my tripod. A short time later, the sun began setting and I faithfully stayed and shot the fading ball of fire over the mountains. After the sun had descended behind the mountains (although, not technically yet “set”), I stayed in placing to see if good color would develop in the skies during the “Civil Twilight” period.  Not tonight … not enough clouds to help out the situation. But while I was waiting, the unmistakable hooting sound of a Great Horned Owl broke the silence … and pretty close to me. I scanned the area for several minutes before finding the responsible owl. But I was stuck with only my wide angle lens *&^%$*@ !!!

Here is the owl, as viewed through my UNtelephoto (aka, wide angle) lens. It is that little thing with 2 pointed ears, in the middle of the image, at the top of the tree:

Great Horned Owl (with wide angle lens)

To better see the owl, here is a cropped/enlarged section of the above image:

Great Horned Owl (with wide angle lens, enlarged)

If only I had taken my 100-400 … or 500 … anything bigger!!! I’m sure this has happened to many of you, also. If I had known there would be any chance at all of wildlife appearing, I would have found a way to carry a bigger lens with me. Oh well, another of “Murphy’s Laws” … “If you leave something behind, you will certainly wish you had brought it with you!”

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