Huge Caribou

Ron Niebrugge Alaska, Denali, Photos, Travel 4 Comments

Bull caribou, Denali National Park, Alaska.

Bull caribou, Denali National Park, Alaska.

This is one of the largest bull caribous I have ever seen!  This was from my fall trip to Denali National Park.

I often get questions about the settings I use for a particular image.  I’ll try to get better at including that information as it can be valuable for learning.

Here I had my Canon 7D with a 70-200 f/2.8 lens and 2x converter.  Great combination for hiking because of its light weight.  On this day we climbed way up into the hills and I was glad I wasn’t packing a large telephoto.  I shot this at f/5.6 and 1/640 of a second at ISO 800.  I prefer a lower iso with the 7D, but needed the shutter speed.

I was using aperture priority mode and had dialed up + 2 2/3 of a stop in additional compensation.  If that sounds like a lot of compensation, it is.  The bright sky really fools the camera, and I didn’t want a perfectly exposed rich blue sky with a silhouette, I wanted detail in the caribou.  So I dialed up compensation until I had detail in the caribou and didn’t worry about blowing out the sky.  Now as soon as the caribou came off the ridge and had and earth background, I had to quickly dial the compensation back down to zero.  That is something very easy to do with the big wheel on the back of many Canon cameras, I can do it very quickly without looking.  It is something I have even practiced so that it is second nature.  I think being able to quickly adjust camera settings on the fly is really important when photographing wildlife in constantly changing light and environmental conditions.

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