One problem with photographing bison is that they don’t do anything interesting very often. These big bulls, photographed five days ago on Antelope Island, were a bit of an exception.
1/1250/ f/6.3, ISO 500, Canon 7D Mark II, Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM @ 400mm
I particularly like to photograph bison when they’re on the horizon with blue sky or dark storm clouds as a backdrop. This big guy didn’t do much but just stand there and look overpoweringly large and intimidating. I do wish he’d turned his head toward me a little and didn’t have grasses in front of his muzzle.
1/1000/ f/8, ISO 500, Canon 7D Mark II, Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM @ 135mm
Soon several of the bulls walked down the hill and began to drink from ice-covered puddles from melted snow that were very close to me. The sounds of ice breaking from the weight of their hooves and muzzles were eerie. They drank so much water I kept expecting the surface of the ice to begin bending into a concave shape. Perhaps it did and I didn’t notice.
I can only imagine how cold their innards must have felt after drinking several gallons of icy-cold water.
1/2000/ f/6.3, ISO 500, Canon 7D Mark II, Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM @ 188mm
When they’d lift their heads slightly there’d be drool dribbling from their muzzles. Then they’d lower their heads again and go back for more.
1/1000/ f/7.1, ISO 500, Canon 7D Mark II, Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM @ 263mm
Several of the bulls in the group stayed on the hill and did a little jousting. I don’t believe the fight was too serious but with these guys you never know. I think the arc of starlings in flight is a nice touch and I was pleasantly surprised to get light in the eyes of both bulls.
I’m looking forward to bison calving season and watching the “reds” (a name for young calves because of their rusty-red color) frolicking on the prairie.
Actually I’m anticipating a lot of things that are spring related…