The autumnal transformation is usually one of my favorite times of year. I find the warm colors incredibly inspiring and motivating… but this year I feel like I’m stuck in a rut. I haven’t gotten that bubbly, excited feeling in my stomach yet. Probably because I’m so distracted with the home buying process and with our vacation coming up. Life seems heavy right now. Not necessarily in a bad way, but the days are antsy and the nights are sleepless. It’s really just starting to wear down on us, and we desperately needed to get our minds off it.
So it was a relief this weekend to get out of town for a while. We went and watched the annual elk bugle, which is spectacular year after year. It never gets old. Basically you sit on the side of a gravel road, in a specific area where the elk return to every year. You watch the males spar with each other as they attempt to round up as many females as possible. We’re talking HUNDREDS of elk within an area about the size of a football field. The males make this incredibly haunting sound that resembles a bugle horn. It was even better because there was such a heavy mist this year, and they almost looked like ghosts floating through the brush. The animals get incredibly close to the road, which in the context of elusive creatures such as deer and elk, can be a very unsettling feeling.
These images were taken with my Sony NEX-7 and an old manual-focus Minolta 200mm lens fitted with an adapter and a 2.0x doubler. Because of the 2.0x magnifier, I lost an automatic two-stops of light right off the top. I had to crank the ISO from 3200 to 6400 as the night went on. The result is INCREDIBLY grainy images and very soft focus, but I like it!