Sometimes, we get caught up in color and forget that photography is about communicating. In these examples, just by converting our color image to B&W we strengthen the message. The massive muscular body becomes accentuated. In this example, the lower angle of the camera also strengthens the intimidation of this elk. And that EYE stare gives us a certain message. Head lowered, ready to charge.
In out next image even though B&W, it is less intimidating but rather showcases the massive rack of this animal. Power!! but calm and certainty with the head and side view casually looking behind him.
Our next message is another Bull Elk but in color with a more pastoral scene, the meadow. Here we use color to convey a feeling of calm, greens and yellows, even though the Elk is still active in asserting his place. The mist softens the scene and the tree adds a feeling of shelter.
Here’s another subtle play. By placing the elk facing from left to right, the way we read, the image seems more in tune or familiar…
Now, by placing our camera lower the viewer becomes part of the scene… he is in the grass, not the normal “observing from a standing position.”
Striving to produce images that need no caption can lift our work to another level. Becoming aware of these dynamics, while perhaps awkward in the beginning become part of our sensing and seeing as we grow photographically. Sort of like eating an Elephant, one bite at a time. We only need to move in the direction, growing at our own pace and letting things come naturally.