Denali Dall Sheep 1

Denali Dall Sheep 1

On my first day in Denali National Park, I encountered a large group of Dall sheep up the side of a mountain. I grabbed my camera equipment, including my 500mm lens, and hiked over 1500′ up to them. As I approached the group, they became aware of my presence but did not run away. I was unsure how close they would allow me to get, but they seemed unconcerned by my presence and continued foraging for grasses. I got close enough to photograph individual animals isolated against a clean background. Eventually, I moved in close enough to photograph this nice head-on portrait of a big male looking down on me. I created this image with my Canon 7D, Canon 500mm f4 IS lens, and Canon 1.4X tele-converter. This image is a single-exposure which required minimal processing using Aperture 3 and Photoshop CS5.

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6 thoughts on “Denali Dall Sheep 1

  1. Whoa – wonderful portrait of this animal. I really like the textures in its horns.

  2. Hey Jon, this is a very nice portrait!

  3. Hi Jon! Thanks for sharing this. I really like the soft even background. Great work!

  4. You sure got close to this perhaps inquisitive but tough customer. I am intimidated looking at him. I am impressed by how flawless the background is and that you made this image with one exposure.

  5. David-Thank you for your kind words. I always teach people that when using a big lens that what is behind your subject is just as important as the subject itself. Getting close to wild animals so that they reveal their personalities is incredibly difficult, but it is my job & what I love to do. I also like wildlife compared to landscape photography, because I don’t have to deal with all of the digital shenanigans that photographers are willing to perpetuate these days. Of course, some wildlife photographers composite images together, but I do not and have no intention of doing so. For me, an image should speak for itself, rather than requiring a lot of messing with on the computer.

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