Rocky Mountain Goat
“Overlooking the Kingdom” – Mt. Evans, CO – Kipp Schoen – Featured Photographer
Getting a great photo of wildlife is very difficult. Getting a spectacular photo of wildlife showing their environment can be darn near impossible. Well when it works out this is what it looks like. Shooting in both large format film cameras and high resolution digital cameras Kipp covers it all. After reading his full write up below, view his amazing landscapes at www.schoenphotography.com.
Mount Evans (west of Denver) is a 14,265 foot peak that features dramatic views and a wide variety of alpine wildlife, including the sure-footed mountain goat. On this particular August day I had set out with the objective of capturing a mountain goat image that featured both the goat and the surrounding environment. I decided to focus on late afternoon and evening shots to benefit from improved lighting. On the way toward the summit of the mountain I spotted a small group of mountain goats with two mothers and two kids. I carefully approached the group and they moved over toward the side of the mountain. I was using a 50-500mm zoom, so I knew I would not have to approach too close to get the type of image I was after. After slowly following the group for an hour or so and getting a number of decent shots, the group descended over an abrupt ridge. As I approached the ridge, I could see down into a deep gorge below with a wonderful blue lake. I also noticed a dramatic mountain ridge to the west and that the sun was peeking through the broken clouds – just the scene I was after. At that moment the two kids hopped onto a large boulder overlooking the gorge and started to frolic. I quickly shot a couple of frames, but couldn’t get the composition that I wanted as they were constantly moving, but I did get a chance to prepare and be ready to shoot. Suddenly, one of the mother goats chased the two kids from the perch and hopped onto the rock herself. I immediately took two shots as she posed and gazed into the gorge. As quickly as that she turned and hoped back down. I immediately checked my LCD to see it I had gotten the shot. The focus was good and the composition got the goat with the dramatic backdrop. It even had a fringe of backlighting on the goat’s fur. Eureka!
Camera: Canon 5D Mark II
Lens: Sigma 50-500mm IS
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