Just got back from a photo shoot in Colorado - specifically, the Rocky Mountain National Park.

Thought I'd share a few images of the fantastic fall colors, and the very impressive Elk Rut that takes place at this time of year.

The Elk pictures were greatly aided with the acquisition of the Canon EF 100-400mm lens. I had heard good things about this lens - but you never know for sure. Fortunately, I was blown away. Standing in some cases 50-75 feet away, the lens is so sharp that I was actually able to see in the full-sized images - little flies that were buzzing around the Elk's head.

If you're thinking about the lens - it is expensive (about $1600) but at least for me (on a Canon 5D Mark II) - it is very sharp.

Shooting the beautiful fall colors was quite a different exercise from shooting the Elk. For the Elk, the goal was to get close, but not too close. During rut, the bull Elk are agitated and are not averse to charging the photographer and running him off.

I had a close encounter with a couple of bulls that got into a fight and ran right toward me - and only ********ed away at a distance of about 20 feet. Remember, these guys may weigh 700 pounds or more.

The beautiful fall colors however were better captured with a wide angle lens to set the colors in a proper context. For that, I use my Canon EF 24-105mm lens.

Hope each of you might be able to venture to such exciting parts of the world.


Photo credits: David Watts Jr..

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October 19, 2010


Beautiful nature! Great photography!

October 19, 2010


beautiful shots

October 18, 2010


Thanatonautii - it is a really great lens. Some however feel it is not fast enough for sports work. Max aperture varies from f4.0 to f5.6. For night sports work - it may not be big enough. But, if you can bump ISO and not get too noisy - it might work for you. It is indeed a bit heavy - but a monopod would help for both sports and wildlife.

October 18, 2010


Great photos! Thanks for sharing! Now you got me thinking about that 100-400 mm. It would be perfect for my sports photos and wildlife action that I could get in my trips on the mountains. All that I`m worried is the weight and the money :P
Anyway, thanks for the tip :)

October 16, 2010


Thanks all! Melonstone - I was actually sitting on the side of the road, in order to steady my lens a bit... and it all happened so fast that my only thought was to curl up in a ball and hope that run over the top of me without too much injury. Thankfully - they turned and went away!

October 16, 2010


Hey David = looks like you had a very successful trip, some great shots here.

I hope to get to Colorado myself next May/June for an extended road trip in the Rocky Mountains, but at that time of year I won't see the wonderful fall colours.

Just wondering if you stood your ground when the stags ran at you, particularly given your expensive lens.....?

October 16, 2010


wow they are beautiful .I love Colorado

October 15, 2010


Great shot!!

October 15, 2010


Lovely pics! Congrats

October 15, 2010


Great pics, keep up the good work.

October 15, 2010


Congratulations those are great images.

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