I had a bunch of fun yesterday testing out Fujifilm’s XF100-400mm in western Montana with howling winds, blowing snow and very photogenic Bison. What more could you really ask for? Perfect conditions for testing out a lens’s image stabilization and handling. The Fujifilm XF 100-400 really impressed. Trying to grab focus on an animal’s eye with falling snow is a real challenge, but the XPro2 and 100-400 worked very, very well and produced tack sharp images. The image stabilization was definitely on par with my old Canon 100-400mm and overall I was surprised at how comfortable it was to shoot. I’ll be posting a full review soon of this lens and also my thoughts on switching over from Canon to Fuji.
Here’s a shot from my first outing with Fuji’s rangefinder style mirrorless camera, the X-Pro2. I’m super excited to try out this new system and will be posting a review after I finish putting it through its paces. Being a longtime Canon shooter, I keep dipping my toes in the mirrorless waters to see if I can finally be lured into lightening my load. We’ll soon see.
First impressions, very good so far…
Triple Creek Horses
Triple Creek Horses along the West Fork Bitterroot River, Montana. Shot with a Canon 5D MKIV 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS II, ISO 3200 f8 1/500.
Holiday Print Sale
Still a couple weeks left to get your hands on any of my custom signed prints at their limited pricing of 25% off and free shipping, Happy Holidays!
Winter in Yellowstone National Park
Just returned from a week back in Yellowstone National Park during one of my favorite seasons to explore our first park’s incredible wildlife and winter landscapes. It seems like the theme of my trip this go around was “blue & cold”, at least that’s the way a lot of my images seemed to turn out! The weather was clear and cold with temps around -20f during the mornings in the Lamar Valley which made for some interesting landscapes and also produced some pretty cool sun dogs and overall shooting atmosphere. Not to mention some cold fingers!
If you haven’t visited Yellowstone in winter, it’s really a must for nature photographers. Whether you shoot landscapes or are a dedicated wildlife shooter, the uniqueness and beauty of the park in winter really offers up something for everyone. Obviously its wildlife is some of the best in the lower 48, especially when winter arrives, but the landscapes as well can bring some pretty cool things you don’t normally get a chance to see. When the weather turns harsh, it gets even better with unique atmosphere producing sun dogs, trees with hoar frost, and dramatic fog in the valleys.
Jan-Feb is a great time to experience winter in the park and also to find the solitude that comes minus the crowds. Spending a cold morning in the Lamar Valley with only you and few others around you are quickly reminded of this. As wolves howl in the distance and frosted bison roam nearby, it’s also a reminder that you’re standing in the last little bit of wild we have here and a place that has a new surprises around every corner for photographers.
Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks
Just returned from a fantastic trip co-leading for Natural Habitat Adventures on their Yellowstone Winter Photo Expedition. We had such a wonderful group of travelers and perfect conditions on this trip, allowing great views of the Tetons and some pretty sweet wildlife viewing. We started out in Jackson, Wyoming working our way up into the interior of Yellowstone, exploring geyser basins around Old Faithful and eventually working our way up in the northern range of the park over the course of the week. We had some great wildlife viewing in the northeast getting to spend some time observing the wolves of the Lamar Pack and also some great Bison photography.
I’m finally back at home now getting caught up on some much overdue editing and getting ready for spring (hard to believe!) and also some upcoming talks. In a couple weeks if you happen to find yourself in western Montana, I will be giving a talk on the “Art of Nature Photography” at the Bitterroot Audubon Society on Feb. 15 in Hamilton. If interested, feel free to contact me for more details or visit their site at bitterrootaudubon.org. In the meantime, I will be enjoying the little bit of winter we have left and looking forward to getting out and about around western Montana.
Yellowstone National Park
This last month I’ve had the pleasure of working with Natural Habitat Adventures on their Wolf Quest Photo Trips in Yellowstone National Park. We’ve had some amazing encounters so far and I look forward to sharing some images soon when I return home.
Weather throughout the west has been really warm and things are thawing rapidly in Yellowstone. Signs of spring are definitely here with bears out, migrating birds showing up, and remaining snow pack quickly disappearing.
This big bison was taken in the northeast corner of the park as he broke his way through some of the remaining deep snow on a cold morning in early March.
Montana’s Race to the Sky
Had a great time this weekend photographing the start to Montana’s Race to the Sky sled dog race over in Seeley Lake. Due to the insanely warm temperatures we’ve had around the west this winter, snow has been hard to find in some areas. Usually the race kicks off near Helena with another send off in Lincoln, but this year that definitely wasn’t happening. The teams took off near Seeley Lake with plenty of snow for the most part, but temperatures were still warm.
The race features both a 300 mile and 100 mile leg through Montana’s mountains and is also a qualifier for Alaska’s Iditirod. This year there were 29 teams participating in the race.
Shooting the race as night fell was challenging to say the least, especially with fast dogs and no light. I managed to pull off a few shots in the beginning, but as it got dark I had to get a little more creative
A mallard takes flight on a cold Montana morning.
Canon 1DX 70-200 2.8L IS II f4.5 1/3000 ISO800