I think we would all like to get the iconic shot no matter where we are or what the activity, that single image that tells the story. They don’t come often. Yesterday morning at Cataloochee Valley, on the North Carolina side of the Great Smoky National Park this big guy not only made a feint charge, he had a broken antler from one of his challenge duels I expect.
Sometimes, it’s a sudden activity that happens. I’m not sure what spooked this big guy but he was just watching over his harem, keeping them all together, then he began to move toward the small group of photographers on the road next to their cars. His gate picked up and then this pose, the most expressive of the number I made. Then he moved his ladies and fawn toward the tree line and they slipped away from sight.
The post production was a little tricky as the morning was misty. The mist tends to become magnified thereby building up in the image when using a telephoto lens, 300mm, giving a somewhat washed out finish. But I think the essence of the moment comes through.
The elk were absent from this area for 150 years. They were reintroduced in 2001 and have resettled throughout the area.
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