When Rainouts Are Fun!

Well, the first day in Rocky Mountain National Park has concluded. And the weatherman was correct … rain, rain, rain! :o) May sound like a lousy day, but it actually was a very rewarding day, despite the recurring rain showers.

Arriving at Moraine Park (a wonderful place to photograph elk inside the Park) about a half hour before sunrise, I found a nice place to park and wait for the landscape to lighten up. I heard several bull elk “bugling”, but it was very difficult to see them. As it turned out, even after sunrise, it was quite dark due to the heavy overcast skies. But over time, the light levels managed to get within a workable range for photographing the elk. At one point, I turned around and saw this nice bull, standing on top of a ridge and looking down at us:

Bull Elk

Shortly after, it began to rain for the first of many times during the day. But again, waiting out the rain paid off with this double rainbow over Moraine Park:

Double Rainbow

A little while after that image was made, the sky actually broke up, even showing some nice blue spots between the clouds. This next image was made about 2 hours later, while driving down Bear Lake Road:

Fall Colors along Bear Lake Road

So, not bad for a “bad” day!

The remainder of the day was spent traveling around the park and capturing images of the spectacular fall color. Between the groves of aspens and the occasional reds of low plants, it was a wonderful time to photograph the landscapes of Rocky Mountain NP. Colors seem to be at, or near peak colors, so I decided I better spend the rest of the day photographing the fall colors … just in case storms later in the day began knocking the colorful leaves off trees. And the day ended at Moraine Park, again with the elk. Just as the elk were getting warmed up, the rains again descended the heavens. This time, it was pretty consistent and even hard, at times. Tomorrow’s goal? Capture some more fall color images, and spend more time with the elk. And the forecast? “Clear and Sunny” is the forecast for the next 3 days! :o)

Photographic Equipment Used (bull elk):

  • Canon 7D body
  • Canon EF100mm-400mm, f/4.5-f/5.6 IS lens, shot at 275 mm
  • Handheld, with IS “On”
  • ISO 3200
  • Aperture f/5.6
  • Shutter 1/320 sec.

Photographic Equipment Used (double rainbow):

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon EF28mm-135mm, f/3.5-f/5.6 lens, shot at 125 mm
  • Handheld, with IS “Off”
  • ISO 250
  • Aperture f/16
  • Shutter 1/125 sec.

Photographic Equipment Used (fall colors):

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon EF28mm-135mm, f/3.5-f/5.6 lens, shot at 135mm
  • Bogen 3221 tripod with Graff Studioball SB-QR ballhead
  • ISO 250
  • Aperture f/16
  • Shutter 1/20 sec.



Posted in HDR, Landscape Photography, Mammals, Nature Photography, Travel Photography
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