Michael Weatherford  

Tallgrass Buffalo by Michael Weatherford

November 2023 - Tallgrass Buffalo

About the Image(s)

During a recent visit to the Tallgrass Prairie, a 45,000 acre preserve near Pawhuska Oklahoma, I observed a bison browsing on sunflowers. I noticed how this massive animal used its tongue to delicately pick one flower at a time. They must be a real treat for him! I used a Nikon Z6ii with Z400 f4.5 lens plus a 1.4x teleconverter. 560mm; 1/640 sec; f6.3; ISO 800. Processed in Lightroom Classic. No cropping!!!!! (can you believe it?) Minor adjustments to saturation to enhance the yellow of the sunflowers and a little sharpening.

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

Bud Ralston   Bud Ralston
Michael, this is a terrific capture! My only suggestions would be to very slightly lighten around the eye area and lose the plant growing out of the bison's back. That plant was the first thing I saw and is a major distraction to the scene. The new Remove tool in Photoshop works wonders. Do you remember the Ferdinand the Bull cartoons? You nailed it here! Well done!
  Posted: 11/13/2023 10:08:40

Richard Matheny   Richard Matheny
Just a wonderful image Michael. I like it just as it is. The flowers above the back of the Bison do not bother me. It would have been a problem if it had been growing out of the Bisons head but above the back for some reason looks very natural to me. Very sharp on the subject, good composition, the colors look very natural, really nice image. I am guessing that the blurred area in the foreground is some tall grasses and unavoidable. They look like they were much closer to you than the yellow flowers. I doubt a different F-stop would have made much of a difference.   Posted: 11/14/2023 07:16:18

Cindy Marple   Cindy Marple
This is terrific! I also like it just as it is. The moment you captured clearly shows delicacy, which is not something I'd ever think I'd equate with a bison!
I really like your framing, for me the out of focus foreground vegetation nicely frames the head. The extra flowers above the back help me to understand that there were lots of flowers in the field. I agree with Bud's assessment of their location.
Very nice!   Posted: 11/15/2023 08:50:37

Larry Treadwell   Larry Treadwell
The Big Shaggy is always a special treat to photograph. They are sooo big, powerful, strong and fast that to seem being gentle and delicate is quite incongruous. You have an excellent image here. For me the story is all about slurping up the flowers. So I guess i have to be the odd one out. I would crop off the back half of the bison. I also agree that losing that little flower on the back of the bison would be a good thing.

But cropped or uncropped, this is a fine image.   Posted: 11/15/2023 16:58:56

David Kepley   David Kepley
Great imager of a massive animal and delicate little flowers! What is a little odd is where the DOF falls off. It's great behind the bison-just what you want. But oddly enough the area of the bison's coat below the horn is blurry, but his back is not? I guess if you had shot this at perhaps f8, this would not have hapened?   Posted: 11/18/2023 10:30:29