Pre-Trip Adrenalin

It’s almost time… our annual pilgrimage to Rocky Mountain National Park to see the elk rut. Actually it kicked in last night, that nervous feeling in the pit of your stomach that won’t let you sleep. I hate that feeling, the uncertainty, the wondering if everything is ready, if I have forgotten something. I finally managed to fall asleep but I was already awake again at 3:00 this morning ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Elk in Rocky Mountain National Park

I did catch a break though while I was drinking my coffee and watching wildlife videos on YouTube. I was kind of half asleep watching a video on setting up the Canon R7 for wildlife, one which I had already watched before, when I heard a tidbit that I had never noticed… The “Wild Alaska” guy said on the main AF settings he leaves “tracking set to off, that way you can turn it on and off with a button. If you set it to on it is always on.”. Now I had noticed that tracking wasn’t behaving properly, I programmed the exposure lock button to turn on and off tracking but it seemed tracking was always immediately coming right back on and disrupting my focus point selection. Well I did what he said and switched the main tracking setting to off and now my programmed button works the way I want it to. That’s an important setting for me because it is quite often that I need to have a very precise focus point to aim through branches or grass to grab right onto the animal. Also important when you set animal tracking to off, go ahead and leave animal eye focus turned on.

The second minor issue I got ironed out this morning while setting that up is that the lock button also locks in a focus point. I couldn’t get the joy stick to change the location of my points and finally determined that on my last photo outing I had used the lock button to lock down the exposure. I didn’t realize it also locked up the focus points, so that and the tracking issue were awesome things to get ironed out BEFORE the trip!

So it turned out that last year’s trip was a bit to early in the month and we missed peak rut season, but despite that I got some great video of the elk herd in action and one of my favorite elk pictures (above) of all time! Click here to see the full video on my YouTube channel!

Well anyway, I hope to be able to post some phone videos to my channel throughout the trip so stay tuned!

New Way of Doing Business on Social Media

Great Blue Heron at River

My latest Patreon Post describes in detail what the benefits are for joining my new channel for as little as $3 per month! In addition to access to exclusive content, my patrons can receive gits from digital images to the high quality 8×10 Print of the Month!ย  I am looking forward to this entirely new way of conducting business and relating to my customers and fans! Hope to see you soon on Patreon!

Please donโ€™t forget to visit my YouTube channel to watch videos of many of my adventures in the mountains, and if you wouldnโ€™t mind I could use the thumbs up and a subscribe if you enjoy the content and want to help my channel!

Storms on the Sangre de Cristo

As always, the best of these images and hundreds more are available for purchase on my website as wall art on glossy metal or acrylic sheets, stretched canvas and traditional matting and framing. Tons of cool household and gift items are also available with any image you like including coffee mugs, t-shirts, blankets and pillows, battery chargers, phone cases, stationary and much much more! Just click on any image you like and all the choices, sizes and prices will appear! For my viewers interested in images for commercial use, please visit my image licensing portal! I should mention at this time that this blog post is not sponsored by Canon or any other firm. All equipment used in the making of the blog and video have been purchased by me on my own volition.

Bald Eagle Mating Ritual

New YouTube video by #swkrullimaging of an amazing bald eagle mating ritual as the nesting pair prepares to lay their eggs! Also don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel to help me in the search algorithm plus you won’t miss any upcoming content!

Bald Eagles in Eleven Mile Canyon

One Deer and Wildflowers

Deer in the Rockies

Pretty quiet morning on the trail… Saw one lone deer peering back at me from a field of wildflowers and rocks. We were far enough away so as to not cause any alarm and were able to get this nice shot ๐Ÿ™‚ No more wildlife was seen on the trek, but there are a lot of nice wildflowers blooming. Don’t know what these yellow ones actually are, I’m no flora and fauna expert for sure… but they look nice and make for some nice pictures ๐Ÿ™‚

Also got to try out my hike logger on my new Verizon phone. It’s only a

Mountain Wildflowers

Samsung J3 but I like it OK. Was extremely disappointed with my previous phone that didn’t work at all in the mountains. So I successfully recorded today’s hike and was rewarded with a cool map and elevation profile. Haven’t figured out how to share it yet though… maybe the information will only be for myself. But still pretty cool even though I’m not sure what it is going to be good for ๐Ÿ™‚

As always these images and more are available for purchase on my website as wall art on glossy metal or acrylic sheets, stretched canvas or traditional framing and matting. Tons of cool gift, tech, apparel and household items are also available with a #swkrullimaging picture!

Mountain Wildflowers


The Coyote

After a couple day’s rest I was feeling a bit better but today’s trek was still a bit of a mental struggle… I was starting to wish I had just stayed home when just then I spotted a couple of ears sticking up above a nearby ridge line. I didn’t know if the critter would go down into the ravine or come up and run along the top for a photo op but I got the camera ready anyway. Set to ISO 400 and middle focus zone I figured I’d be ready for whatever turn the scene might take.

Colorado Rocky Mountain Coyote running free

Well as luck would have it a coyote cleared the ridge, immediately spotted us and started to trot along the ridge line towards her home in the thick brush below. I just held the back button focus down and blazed away until my camera’s buffer was full. Then I shot a couple more for good measure.ย  Afterwards a quick check on my LCD screen looked promising. Exposure looked good and the images mostly looked sharp, even when zoomed in with the touch screen ๐Ÿ™‚

My joy at spotting this beautiful animal is tempered by sadness from some of the information I’ve been reading lately, though. Some people are afraid of coyotes… I don’t know why, they are afraid of people, prefer to eat small rodents or rabbits, and pretty much bother no one. Of course there is the odd city person who moves to the mountains, insists on living in the countryside in wildlife habitat and is then stunned to find out he can’t leave his shih tzu out in the yard at night, and of course there are the welfare ranchers who demand to be able to graze their sheep on public national forest land in predator country while not giving a damn about the wildlife or the people who enjoy watching them… but for the most part the wildlife prefers to mind it’s own business, bothering no one and performing their God given task of keeping the rodent population down.

I have known for quite some time that there is no shortage of hunters who love nothing

Colorado Rocky Mountain Coyote

more that blasting away at our beloved wildlife, not to mention people’s pets, a lady in her driveway, other hunters and pretty much anything else that moves, but I had no idea the depth of depravity that is condoned in some states until I recently read an article in Mountain Journal called “A Death Of Ethics: Is Hunting Destroying Itself?”. Apparently in many states predators including wolves, which were protected until Obama sold them out, are considered nuisance animals and can be killed without limit and not even afforded minimum animal cruelty protections.

The article describes all the horrible methods used by sadists in these backward states to destroy these innocent creatures including but not limited to, strangling them in snares, stomach shooting them to cause the slowest and most painful death, and running them down with snowmobiles. Apparently the latter is a preferred family activity in Wyoming as parents teach their children the joy of chasing down a terrified animal and running over it multiple times until it is finally dead. Personally I think that parents that teach their children this kind of cruelty should be charged with child abuse and their children placed in foster homes. The article is long and difficult to read but is an excellent in depth scientific study complete with names and history and useful resources that I highly recommend everyone read who cares about wildlife and our wilderness heritage.

Lest we continue to devolve into a nation of barbarians I hope kinder and more sane people will vote out the politicians who allow these practices in favor of leaders who understand that these animals are valuable sentient creatures who deserve to be treated humanely just as domestic animals are. In addition to their important function of limiting rodent populations, these animals are precious to many people who just want to have the wilderness experience by viewing them. Please contact your representatives today to demand change. Please help to insure that future generations will be able to experience what I was able to witness today… A beautiful example of God’s creation, running free in the beautiful countryside of our great nation.

As always these images and more are available for purchase on my website as wall art and cool gift items including useful household items, tech gadgets, apparel and more! Give the link a click and explore over a thousand great wilderness images created by #swkrullimaging!


Getting Ready

Something weird I noticed this week, from my collection of random observations… I absolutely detest getting ready for work, getting cleaned up, looking for my dress pants, finding my badges, tool kit, ID, all the things I need for work. It takes me forever and It ruins an entire afternoon. It even annoys me to force myself to eat something so I won’t get too hungry during my shift… Sometimes I don’t even care and just let myself go hungry.

So I was wondering what it is about getting ready that irritates me so much when I realized it is exactly the opposite when I am getting ready for a photo trip. I love getting ready for that… I make lists, I check all my equipment, test batteries, clean lenses, format chips, put paraffin on my backpack zippers. And then I plan, print maps, prepare snacks so I don’t get a sugar low out hiking and create timelines leaving as little to chance as possible.

Lol, so I guess the moral of the story is I don’t mind preparing unless it is for something I don’t want to do in the first place. Which also brought me to another realization, I hate getting ready for weddings and even though I need the money, when presented with the opportunity my mind will frantically search for some excuse to get out of it. So my project this week wound up to be deleting my wedding site and any reference to my being a wedding photographer. While I was at it I also removed some other services I don’t really like either, leaving pretty much just sports and wildlife in my repertoire

Well I guess that’s about it for this week’s piece of random wisdom ๐Ÿ™‚