Did you know that the buffalo is now the national mammal of the United States? This statues is not to be confused with the national emblem, and national animal, of the U.S. the bald eagle. Oh course, it comes with no additional species protection, but.... stop me now before I digress into a conversation about how it is NEVER a good idea to try to pet a bison. Or, take a selfie with one.
I captured these beauties in Custer State Park, one of our favorite places to visit in The Black Hills.
Tips for taking photos of wildlife....
- A zoom lens is a must so that you can keep a safe distance from the animals, both for your protection and theirs.
- A camera bean bag is a terrific aid in keeping your camera steady when you are capturing wildlife through an open window of a car. (You can see the one I use in the sidebar.)
- Always use common sense, if the animals seem agitated move on from your location.
- Never, never, never approach wildlife!!! With all the events taking place in Yellowstone and in our local area, what seems like common sense must be reiterated... these are wild animals they will defend themselves if they feel threatened. No shot is ever worth the loss of your life.
- Wait for it. Take your time and just simple watch the animals for a while. A good shot never happens right away. We waited for this big guy to gradually make his way towards us before I got the shot I wanted.
We head down to the southern Black Hills quite often, and on rainy day in the early spring we went buffalo baby hunting. Unfortunately, we were a bit early, which was a bummer, but we did happen to come upon these fluffy bison in Wind Cave National Park. We might, or might not have, sat there for about 30 minutes watching these guys. We were quite amused, we have never seen buffalo with such shaggy hair on their heads.
Since we did not find the treasure I was hunting for, I thought I might as well try my hand at taking photos specifically for a panorama. This shot is made up of 13 shots total and then stitched together in Photoshop. I am pretty happy since it was my first try at a stitched panorama. But, there is always room to improve...
1. I should have taken my shots in portrait view so that the short side of my photo would have been bigger pixel wise. My overall shot ended up being 13047 by 3165. Not bad, but I would have to upsize on the short side to print this, because (very basically speaking) I could print a 43 by 12 picture. I'd want it to be bigger than 12 inches on the short side.
2. I forgot my tripod, or I should say I just didn't bring it. I was not planning on shooting a pano on this particular day.
3. It was sprinkling which made for a really pretty sky, but I needed an umbrella to protect the lens from water. My camera is waterproof, but keeping sprinkles off the lens is always a challenge without an umbrella.
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