Each year we fly up to Anchorage, Alaska, to spend a few weeks with our daughter and her family. For some unknown reason, I feel the trip is incomplete if I don’t come home with photographs of moose. This year the pickings were slim. We encountered only two moose, and neither situation was ideal for photography.
We noticed our first moose on the other side of some thick bushes along a hiking trail in Kincaid Park in Anchorage. Only small bits of the moose were visible from our side of the bushes, so we hiked farther until we could see the other side of the bushes. There was a male moose intently devouring leaves. Unfortunately, the grass surrounding the moose was tall enough to prevent a good view of it. Furthermore, he was so involved with his dining that he never moved his head from the bushes for a nice shot. The photo below is the best I could get.
Olympus E-M1 (150mm, f/5.6, 1/500 sec, ISO200)
A week later, while hiking along the shore of Eklutna Lake forty miles outside Anchorage, we spotted a female moose feeding at the edge of our trail. At this time of year, early June, there was the chance a calf could be nearby but hidden from view. Alaskans warn visitors that one of the most dangerous situations is being between a female moose and her calf, so I stayed well away from this female, watching and photographing her from a safe distance.
My photographic problem with this moose was that she stayed in the shade the entire time I photographed her. I was hand holding my camera and shooting a low-light scene with a slow (i.e., small aperture) telephoto lens, a prescription for soft images. The only decent shot I got is shown below. Note that the moose’s nose is at the edge of our trail.
Olympus E-M1 (150mm, f/5.6, 1/320 sec, ISO800)
I will confess that situations like the one in this photo make me a bit uneasy. This moose definitely saw us and would glance at us every so often. Although she seemed relaxed and peaceful, I kept remembering that if she decided she didn’t want us watching her anymore, she could charge us at up to 35 mi/hr.
Hover your mouse cursor over a marker in the map below to reveal a label indicating which photos were taken at that location.