Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Anatomy of a painting

Last fall I was in Yellowstone with my partner, Tom. We were photographing a very large and stately bull elk. His antlers were 6 points on one side and 7 on the other. He had a small harem, 10 or so cows. He was hanging out near Madison Junction. He was quite the traffic stopper. At times there would be a hundred or so people watching him. We watched him off and on for 4 days. Our last morning in Yellowstone we were out early hoping to catch him in the morning fog coming off the river as the day warmed. We were in luck. There was an oxbow in the river, he had his girls on the island created by the oxbow. Occasionally one of the cows would wander across the shallow river, the bull would go get the cow each time. Tom and I were set up near the water watching the elk. Tom had his 600 mm lens on the tripod. We had been there for at least an hour when one of the cows crossed over to graze. She wandered along munching on grass, the bull snorted at her, she ignored him, hmmmm....the bull raced over to get the cow back. The cow started running - she headed straight toward us, the bull running full speed behind her. We became very nervous! I grabbed all the bags and extra cameras and ran back. The cow crossed the river right in front of us. We deserted the 600 lens. The bull stopped just short of the tripod, snorting. He gave us the evil eye. Hence the story of this painting.

Stage one of the painting.

Stage two.


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