It was a beautiful warm and clear morning for a photoshoot with the moose of Jefferson Lake Colorado. Kevin and I decided on an early start for our intended destination along the beaver ponds in the outlet stream from the lake. We were well aware that the heat and dust from the traffic would likely scare away any wildlife shortly after sunrise.
A Lucky Break
As we approached the best beaver pond on the route I noticed a dark figure moving on the opposite shore of the placid pool. As luck would have it, a large cow moose had appeared just in time for our arrival. We quietly parked and exited the vehicle with our cameras. I chose a manual setting with a 1/1000th of a second f/8 aperture with auto ISO for my parameters. I also used the electronic first curtain shutter for it’s extended dynamic range.
Soon a calf appeared to join the mother in the water. I captured a few of the calf as it moved toward the mother moose and disappeared behind the foliage.
An Unlucky Break
That’s when my fortune turned. After a while the calf reappeared and walked past it’s mama. I thought I was going to get an amazing capture, but just then a fisherman roared past. The ensuing dust cloud nearly obscured my image, but I continued shooting anyway. Also there was so much brush that it was difficult to obtain focus on the animals. Ultimately it appears that my camera found a branch or a tree trunk, leaving the two animals slightly out of focus.
Making the Best of the Situation
I was able to use the dehaze slider in Camera Raw to do a pretty good job of eliminating the dust cloud and Topaz Sharpen helped correct the blurry animals a little bit. In the end I decided that the all the misfortune added together actually created a bit of a ghostly effect that I might grow to like! Time will tell.
We Could Have Gone Home
By then it was getting really hot and the traffic and dust were much worse. We searched in vain for more moose, but none were to be found. The usual bird population was apparently taking the day off to avoid the invasion of fishermen and partyers from the city and were nowhere to be seen. We made a pass through Eleven Mile on the way back and encountered the same situation.
As it turns out we could have just captured the moose and gone home. Anyway, here are a few more images from the day, hope you enjoy!