6.24.2013

Late June in Pennsylvania Elk Country-Part 1

Foggy Morning Sunrise: Canon 5D MK III-Canon 70-200mm f2.8 IS II @ 182 mm-ISO 100 1/1000 sec. f 11
I spent most of last week in Pennsylvania elk country with the primary purpose of the trip being to photograph and film elk calves. As it turned out, I saw a lot of calves, but they were usually at a long distance and were moving.  On a few occasions I did see a cow walk up to where its' calf was hidden and the calf stood up and nursed, but in two instances the range was too long for dramatic still photography and the light was harsh with a lot of mirage in the atmosphere so that there was simply too much atmospheric distortion for the big telephotos to deliver acceptable results on the video camera.  Had I been concentrating on still photography and using the 500mm lens, I would have had a few photos of calves to post, but as it worked out I took not one still image of them. As a result I went through the video clips and captured some still frames of calves to post today.

As one would expect, most of the elk were seen either very early or very late.  I caught these elk as they crossed a meadow along Winslow Hill Road on their way to the woods to spend the hot part of the day.

Cows and Calves on Winslow Hill: Panasonic GH3-Lumix 100-300 f 4-5.6-Video Still Capture
I saw calves on several occasions in the tall grass where the old Gilbert farm house once stood, but they were always at a distance and following their mothers as they left the meadows at sunrise.

Calf Follows Mother at Gilbert -Winslow Hill: Panasonic GH3-Lumix 100-300 f 4-5.6-Video Still Capture
While there was some fog on most mornings, it was not so thick that it made photography impossible, but in cases such as the first photo shown today--contributed to creating dramatic film and video.

Cow and Calf at Gilbert-Winslow Hill: Panasonic GH3-Lumix 100-300 f 4-5.6-Video Still Capture
In one instance I saw a calf nursing near Winslow Hill Road and it was so early that I used the 5D MK III with the 500mm F4 to film them, so that I could take advantage of the superb low light capability of the MK III.  Again this is a still capture from a video clip.

Calf Nurses- Winslow Hill: Canon 5D MK III-Canon 500mm F4-Video Still Capture
 The calf is barely visible in the still capture, but shows up quite well in the video clip.  I will try to make a short film of the best clips of the trip and post it in the near future.

There were other interesting subjects to photograph as well and I hope to post more photos of the trip in the near future.

Originally published at Pennsylvania Wildlife Photographer by Willard Hill.

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