Photographing moose involves equipment preparation and visual instinct. At the beginning of winter in a beautiful mountain valley, outdoor photographer Doug Gardner discovers bull moose tracks in the snow. Later, he finds several bull moose grazing in the sage among the aspen trees, and he keeps to a safe distance from the moose so they are unaware of his presence. But the scene falls under a white sky, and he has to make creative adjustments, deciding to crop out the white sky from his compositions.
You will learn that photographing moose from a higher elevation helps avoid foregrounds blocking your main subject. When moose are backlighted by yellow sage and snow patches, you will find that opening up your exposure compensation adjusts for snow reflecting light onto the animal. You will also learn to take up different camera positions to keep searching for angles of composition in order to shoot the best possible scene. If there is clutter behind the subject, Doug suggests stopping down to a shallow depth of field in order to blur the background.
You will learn to let the natural light guide your shooting decisions. When the sky turns blue and the sun brightens, Doug treks around back of his subjects and shifts to front lighting. In photographing moose, he now uses the golden sage as foreground, the background mountains falling to blue shade. Doug explains that an ideal photo opportunity lasts only a short time, and therefore it’s important to know your camera and how to change exposures rapidly. The light does not always cooperate when you want it to. If you are walking a trail or scouting a location in your car, always have your gear ready for when a photo opportunity appears. Join pro shooter Doug Gardner for his expertise on photographing moose in winter’s changing light.
MORE IN THIS COURSE:
Wildlife in Grand Teton National Park – Course Preview
Photographing Bison in the Wild
Photographing Wild Coyote
Tips for Photographing Moose in their Natural Habitat
Tips for Photographing and Capturing Wildlife