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Bull Elk

Bull Elk
Photo Information
Copyright: Niek Bouwen (SunToucher) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2385 W: 237 N: 3033] (11162)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-06-19
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Canon EOS 350D, Sigma 18-200 Zoom F3.5-6.3 DC, Tiffen 62mm UV
Exposure: f/6.3, 1/800 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Travelogue: Summer Vacation 2006: USA
Theme(s): Mammals of the USA [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2006-07-19 13:21
Viewed: 4439
Points: 26
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I am finding myself on unknow terrain. I am a landscape photographer and have, besides from a one time opportunity of Orca and Seal, never photographed wildlife before. But being in Yellowstone NP, the opportunities you get for photographing wildlife are huge, and rather easy. Sometimes you don't even need to get out of your car but actually need to stop your car since they are on the road infront of you.

This one wasn't on the road, but about 50 meters next to it. He and his buddy were on the edge of the forrest eating. My dad and I slowly moved toward them, because with a 200mm zoom, you can't make a good photo 50 meters away. We got to about 15 meters and both him and his buddy were relaxed and still eating. The he came closer to us and we were only 10 meters away, ready to back off in the case that the Elk would become restless. But, he found it the most common sight in the world and started eating the flowers infront of him. You can actually still see a piece of the flower in his mouth. My dad and I were really happy and kept on make photos and video.

Some facts:

Elk (in North American English) are an Old World deer species that originated in Eurasia and spread to North America, crossing the Bering Land Bridge during the ice age. They are also known as wapiti, a Shawnee name meaning 'white rump'. The original meaning of Elk, and the meaning of the word in British English, is the European variant animal referred to in North America as the Moose Alces alces.

North American elk were once considered a species separate from the Eurasian red deer. Scientists now consider the North American elk and Eurasian red deer to be the same, though distinctions between the two live on in the language. The term wapiti applies to the North American elk and to the wapiti-like red deer subspecies in Eastern Asia where the males resemble the North American elk in their antler structure and mating calls. The American elk, along with Sichuan deer, Alashan wapiti, and Manchurian wapiti were once collectively classified as Cervus canadensis, and the remaining subspecies being classified as Cervus elaphus.

Elk weigh 230 to 450 kg (500 to 1,000 lb.) and stand 0.75-1.5 m (2.5-5 ft.) high at the shoulder. Their antlers usually measure 1 to 1.5 m across, tip to tip. Males weigh more than females, but the difference is less compared with other red deer subspecies where the males may weigh twice as much as females.

Red Deer (Cervus elaphus), known as elk or wapiti in North America, are the second largest species of deer in the world, after Alces alces (the moose or, in Europe, elk).

Source: Wikipedia

PP work: Crop, contrast, saturation and USM

SkyF, Anton, manyee, Luc, pablominto, valy67, jmp, Karin, CTP has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Evelynn: never going to reach the 2000 photosSunToucher 1 07-19 16:03
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
  • [2006-07-19 13:33]

Hello Niek,
oh oh who is focusing on who, was a good thing to stay in the car ;-). Very well captured, great pose and excellent eye contact. Light POV and details are wonderful

  • Great 
  • Anton Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 46 W: 11 N: 154] (595)
  • [2006-07-19 14:06]

This is a well captured pose. The focus, excposure and colour rendition is well handled. You can now regards yourself a widlife photographer as well.

  • Great 
  • mbasil Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 335 W: 148 N: 745] (3320)
  • [2006-07-19 15:04]

Nicely done, Niek. Good compo and light. But don't tell the rangers how close you got!

I think the real difference between landscape and wildlife is taking lots of shots. With landcape you can set up, get the perfect compo, wait for the lighting, etc. and then click off a couple shots. But with wildlife and kids you have to do the set up and then take 100 shots to find one with the perfect expression.


  • Great 
  • Scott Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 225 W: 0 N: 356] (1752)
  • [2006-07-19 15:09]


I like this one, nicely captured.


Hi Niek,
Well, He my not have minded you being so close, but he sure had his eye on you. Yellowstone can sometimes give one a false sense of ease in wildlife shooting. It's best not to take their seeming nonchalance for granted though. Early summer can be very different from the fall mating season. That's when you keep your distance for sure.

This is a very nice capture. Even with a crop you were pretty close. I have been wondering what your dad was up to. I miss his photos. Tell him to get back on TN.

Thanks for sharing. That's 5 out of 2000! I'm am so anxious to learn where all you went. I have a feeling this trip is going to take us well into winter! : )

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2006-07-19 19:20]

Hello Niek,
A great shot of this elk. Even though there is a bit of OE on the antlers and the back, it is a fantastic POV of this beautiful animal. I do like the close crop and the eye contact. His lowered head gives a an amazing perspective of his antlers.
And the flower in his mouth definitely adds a nice touch. It is so exciting to be able to share your trip thru your pictures. TFS. :)
P.S. You are a great wildlife photographer :)

Good pose! Well done, Niek! A good focus and light.
Best regards

Hello Niek,
This guy is very well captured, I like the stare he gives you!
It is a fine composition, well balanced and with good natural colours and details...
Nice touch the way you show he is eating flowers!
Pablo -

Hi Niek !
What a change in your gallery ! But it's very nice of course ! I love the pose and the expression on the elk. Great composition, natural colors and excellent details. Must be fantastic to see such an animal in real, I'm sure you had a great time in Yellowstone.

  • Great 
  • Karin Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 418 W: 5 N: 268] (2089)
  • [2006-07-20 9:02]

Dag Niek,
Een hele mooie foto, de details en kleuren zijn prachtig! Ook de compositie en de houding zijn spannend.
Bravo en TFS

  • Great 
  • CTP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 644 W: 6 N: 946] (2726)
  • [2006-07-20 16:57]

Hi Niek,
Excellent Elk capture while he is munching:)
I like your pov,dof,focus,sharpness,colors,blurred bg,frame and note.TFS

  • Great 
  • Deeb Silver Star Critiquer [C: 48 W: 0 N: 5] (14)
  • [2006-10-18 14:13]

This is a very nice close-up of a bull elk. And I did notice that small blossum in it's mouth.

Good job.


By reading your notes I've absorbed a LOT. A LOT.
Have copied some notes down.
Anyway, this is a great register even though you are
a landscape artist. Well focused, showing the velvet
on its new set of horns. Like this composition because
you have dominated & controlled the contrasts & colours.
Well done Niek, Mario.

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