Sharon Prislipsky, APSA, EPSA  

Royal Elk by Sharon Prislipsky, APSA, EPSA

November 2023 - Royal Elk

November 2023 - Sharon Prislipsky, APSA, EPSA


About the Image(s)

On a trip to Rocky Mountain NP in early October I had the opportuntity to photograph elk during the rut. The temperatures were still warm, so you cannot see their breath, but this guy was actually bellowing. We came across him very early in the morning, and I was not really ready yet, so it is a miracle that the settings I started with actually worked. ISO 1600, F/11, 1/100 sec. Another lucky shot. Canon R5 andn Canon 100-500mm lens. Handheld.
I cropped the image, adjusted the white and black points, as well as clarity and contrast. I manipulated the tone curve and used the WB slider in LR to warm the image up to what it actually looked like in better light. I selectively lightened the ruff at the bull's neck to bring out more detail. I sharpened in PS using unsharp mask
I called it "Royal Elk" because that is how bull elk with 6 points on each side of their antlers are classified. I did not see any bulls that were bigger than this one, although there were a several with the same number of points.

This round’s discussion is now closed!
7 comments posted

Pamela Hoaglund   Pamela Hoaglund
Nice capture of this magnificent elk. I was not so lucky on my recent trip to Yellowstone and the Tetons. I think your crop works nicely as well as your post processing in bringing out the golden hues of the vegetation. Nice profile of the elks head which helps to show off the antlers. Nice catch light in the eye also. I don't see a thing I would change. Well done.   Posted: 11/12/2023 14:32:36
Sharon Prislipsky   Sharon Prislipsky
Thanks, Pam. I only wish it would have been colder so that his breath would be visible. But I had to take what nature gave me.   Posted: 11/16/2023 09:26:06

Judith Lesnaw   Judith Lesnaw
Great shot. The elk's turned head gives a great view of those antlers and his eye. I would love to hear him bellow.
Did you take any video/sound? The warm color of the grass provides an autumnal affect; the front and rear bokeh provide depth. I am always amazed at how sharp your hand held 100-500mm lens images are. Especially at a mere 1/100 sec. Will you use this in the Nature category?   Posted: 11/14/2023 15:02:10
Sharon Prislipsky   Sharon Prislipsky
Thanks for your comments, Judith. No, I don't do much with sound or video. And yes, I have already entered this in at least one Nature salon but don't have results yet. Juies in Nature often give a lot of weight to story, which may not be real strong in this image, so we shall see.   Posted: 11/16/2023 09:29:05

Judith Lesnaw   Judith Lesnaw
Congratulations on inclusion of your image, "Starry Night" in the Digital Dialog Showcase.   Posted: 11/16/2023 15:57:59

Mike Cohen   Mike Cohen
I agree with everyone's comments as well as your own, as I'd love to get an elk like this with it's breath showing. I like your crop and processing. One little think you might consider is to desaturate the yellow a little bit from the area under and just in front of the elk. To my eye it looks a little unnatural. Great shot.   Posted: 11/22/2023 05:28:33

Ann Brixey   Ann Brixey
I have to agree with everyone else's comments. I think this is a great photo and would be thrilled to take get such a shot.
It would be nice to get he breath showing, but there is always another time.

Great job.

Congratulations on you image in the Showcase.   Posted: 11/29/2023 15:39:43