It’s time for A Personal Photo Challenge! “Animals” is the theme this month.
As my long-time blogging friends know, I adore photographing animals. Domesticated and wild animal subjects pose challenges to even the most skilled photographer. Animal movements and expressions are unpredictable and fast. A study of their behavior helps to anticipate poses, and an intimate knowledge of equipment and settings is essential to capture moments that are fleeting. An animal photographer also gets to practice the virtue of patience!
I dipped into my photo archives for this challenge. It was tough to decide what animals to feature, but finally chose three images of mountain goats we encountered at Glacier National Park in Montana. It was easy to find these goats. They were conveniently wandering around the raised boardwalk area of the Hidden Lake Trail near the Logan Pass Visitor Center.
It is difficult enough to photograph wild animals, but this particular photo shoot presented additional problems. First of all, people are required to stay on the boardwalk to prevent damage to the fragile high mountain meadows. So I wasn’t able to move around freely to frame up the shots I really wanted. Second, I was fighting for position on the boardwalk because a crowd quickly formed. Short people like me are always at a disadvantage in a crowd! Third, the harsh, midday lighting was atrocious for white fur. I used exposure compensation settings on my camera, ensuring that highlights were not blown out. Thank goodness, I shoot RAW files. So I was able to successfully recover highlights and open up shadow details as part of my editing steps.
The pair of mountain goats was a nanny and its kid. They ventured out of a wooded area and wanted to cross the boardwalk. The nanny was sizing people up to decide whom she could safely cross by. After this captured look, she picked me. I was so close I could have reached out and touched her and the kid! But I honored her trust and stood still to let them pass.
After they crossed the boardwalk, the pair headed to a beautiful meadow for a little lunch. The adorable kid gave me this lovely pose.
I hope you enjoyed my photos and descriptions. Please visit A Personal Photo Challenge blog and check out the creative efforts of other participants too!