I was driving up onto the top of Winslow Hill looking for elk as is my typical routine. This time the elk were not close by, but I spotted a sizable herd on the side of the Saddle. There was only one option in my mind–drive to the bottom of Dewey Road past the Gilbert Farm, park my truck in the lot, and hike up to photograph these magnificent creatures!
So that’s exactly what I did. I even remember thinking to myself, “should I come in above them or from below?” Then it hit me. The sky was a brilliant blue and the words of Lennie Lee Rue III came crashing into my head: “Whenever possible, try to “skyline” an animal. Photographs of an animal standing on the top of a hill against a bright blue sky have tremendous impact.” (How to Photograph Animals in the Wild, Dr. Leonard Lee Rue III and Len Rue, Jr., p. 128-129)
I made this decision quickly and found myself making my way steadily in the direction of where I knew the elk herd was located. Before long I saw the body of a bull elk with his antlers protruding into the bright blue sky! I was in the right location and just needed to be sure not to frighten the elk. I knew there were plenty of other elk just over the ridge, but this one had my full attention!
I believe this photograph is one example of Lennie Lee Rue III’s rule #5 from his “Tips on Wildlife Photography.” Thank you, Dr. Rue, for your inspiration and for teaching me this wonderful photographic rule.
What do you think of this photograph?