March 19, 2020 
I live in the exurban mountains. I've convinced myself that the best method of social distancing is to scatter and head for the hills.
There's a herd of elk that lives nearby. They seem to spend most nights in a meadow over by the high school. We're talking several hundred elk. Couple of roads go through that meadow and you see them there a lot driving through.
I been telling myself for years, I gotta make pictures of this. Seems like easy pickings. A veritable pumpkin patch of elk. But when I go looking, I can never find them. I don't know where they come from and I don't know where they go when they leave. I've heard they ford the river. I'd love to see that. But I can't figure out their schedule.
Tried again last night. See what I could do with a 300 5.6 on a crop body at dusk. That's all I got.
Never got to test it. No luck. No elk.
But you can't waste light like this.
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June 12, 2019
My quest for wild art has slowed to a crawl recently. Lockdowns were the obvious culprit, but they're easing a bit now though I still don't venture too far from home. But now that I can move around some, we get a week and a half's worth of non-stop rain.
I just bought a used Canon 400 5.6. Last evening, we got a break between squalls and I took it out again.
I mentioned earlier that there's a meadow nearby where you frequently see elk. Sometimes hundreds of elk. But they've never been there when I went to shoot pictures. Last night, when the weather cleared I tried again and found exactly five elk.
There's got to be some kind of symbiosis going on here. These birds live in the grass where these elk feed and they have no problem jumping up on an elk's back and riding around. They sit there like they do on a telephone wire. Elk don't seem to even notice.
I shot this at 5.6 and ISO 400. I had plenty of room to drop 2 stops. If I had to do it again, I'd go f/8 for a little more DOF and 200 because I could. But at this point I'm picking nits. (Is that what the birds are doing?) Plenty of room for improvement, but I'm new at this and just getting this shot feels like an accomplishment.
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June 30, 2020
FOUND 'EM
Couldn't sleep last night. Got up crazy early. Up before the sun. Long as I'm up, let's go.
I mentioned earlier there's a heard of elk that lives in a meadow nearby. Hundreds of them. But they were never there when I went looking for them.
Today I came prepared. Had the right gear. The light should get good. All I needed was elk. Lo and behold.
A couple of roads run through the meadow and the elk are right there. I just parked in a patch of dirt and basically shot from there. There were probably 200 elk scattered throughout the meadow. This little patch you're looking at had maybe 40. Pumpkin patch. Fish in a barrel.
When I first got out it was pretty dark and a low, thick fog hung over the meadow. That should lift as soon as the sun comes up. But from this spot, the sun would rise directly over Mt. Si (pronounced Mt. Sigh) and there's still some cloud cover to the east. I'm going to be in a damp shadow for a little bit. Took a few pictures, but mainly drank coffee and watched.
Little hole in the clouds gave me false hope. It was throwing a stripe of sunlight on the hills behind the elk, but the meadow was still dark and misty.
Getting close. Fog is lifting. Light's about to pop.
Then BOOM. All of a sudden, it's easy. Fish in a barrel. So many pictures to be had I could pick my light, pick my composition, pick my subjects. Antlers are over represented.
I could even pick out facial expressions. Gimme a little smile.
Who you callin' a fish?
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