Elk Rut WorkshopsSeptember 2020 - Tom Bol Photo Workshops
The elk rut in Rocky Mountain National Park was in full swing for both of our September workshops. Our favorite location for morning shoots was at Moraine Park. The tawny grasses and open meadow made it easy to spot multiple herds of elk at the same time.
On the edge of the meadow
Cooler temps in the morning made the elk more active
We arrived before sunrise, set up our tripods and sometimes were rewarded with golden light at the start of the morning. We could hear the elk bugling and sparring before the sun came up!
Steamy breath on a cold morning
Ned getting a low perspective to blur the grass
Mornings in the park were less crowded than evenings
Mule deer were also frequent visitors to the Moraine Park meadows and ridges.
Elk antlers weigh up to 40 pounds, like on a massive bull in Moraine Park
Herds are close enough to the road that longer lenses are sometimes too much glass for the shot.
With testosterone running high, male elk would spar and battle to attract the attention of wandering females.
Linda and Julie working the meadow
A bull watches over his harem in the Ponderosa Pines
Sherry in her element
During our midday sessions we traveled to the Big Thompson River to photograph moving water. We used ND filters and multiple exposure to blur the water.
Our new outdoor classroom
A drive back through Devil's Gulch brought dramatic views of the Continental Divide
Long's Peak with crepuscular rays
The west side of the park was at peak fall color on the second workshop. We tried out creative techniques to capture the fall color in the landscape.
Diane getting creative
The west side of the park has more red and orange aspen leaves - perfect for macro work
Linda and Rick working the fall colors
An abstract fall image created by shaking the camera to create blur
Elk in the aspen on the west side
While elk were the primary objective of the trip, we couldn't resist the temptation to photograph other wildlife in the park like the least chipmunk (opposite).
A mule deer buck
A Black Billed Magpie
A female Dusky Grouse
With fall colors in higher elevations on the east side of the park, we took time to photograph Hallett Peak in dappled light.
A smaller group size of 6 was a perk of our "Colorado Getaways"
Two nights of photographing the stars and galaxy rounded out the workshops. Bear Lake and Sprague Lake are both locations with easy access and interesting shorelines for shooting in the dark.
Setting up for night photography at Bear Lake under the Milky Way
To learn more about our field based workshops and online classes, go to: