It was a typical mid-August day in the canyon with nineties until the Sun passed behind the western cliffs. Cools down pretty fast this time of summer in the Wind River Canyon. It'll drop ten degrees in the first hour after six.
Walking over to the door to let in some sweet-mountain air, there he was, just relaxing in the cool grass. We'd spotted each other several times already. I knew he'd sit still for some pictures, as long as I didn't push our relationship too far.
I almost ran back to get my big camera and favorite lens combo and then ran outside in my skivvies, walking calmly north on the sidewalk as I shot off a handful of frames; he really was majestic just sitting there: I didn't have to push too close, either.
Back inside reviewing the images in-camera, I realized I just had to have another round with this grand stag. But he had risen and was eating his dinner. As this buck looked up at me it seemed we'd exchanged amusing expressions.
The color RAW images were stunning, but working on two of the photographs in black and white removed distractions and I thought made them even better. It seemed monochrome is more art than snapshots. You can achieve so much by manipulating color in the monochrome image that you cannot in a color file. In velvet he is a wonderful subject. It was already a quarter to eight when the second set of photographs were taken. His expression is priceless..... "Any idiot can shoot wildlife with a gun." Knowing this phrase is true doesn't make it any more palatable either. I have experienced hunting closely even at forty-below-zero! Freezing to death with the Tetons in the background....