Bull moose in Baxter State Park, Maine

Behind The Shot: Spin Cycle. A bull moose in Baxter State Park, Maine
Photograph By Michael Despines

After I moved to Vermont, I had for the primary time the chance to {photograph} a New England icon—the jap moose. My photograph undertaking started with “desk analysis.” I scoured the web for moose photos to get a way of what was doable. The perfect photos I discovered included moose in water or standing within the woods surrounded by fall colours. I imagined my “supreme” shot—I wished a picture of a bull moose standing in a lake with the water cascading off his large antlers with a mountain forest coated in superb autumn colours as a backdrop.

I realized from my studying that Maine has the biggest variety of moose within the Northeast, so I reached out to potential guides. One information defined the life cycle of the moose and helped me understand that my “supreme” shot was nearly not possible.

Bull moose develop antlers within the spring that attain most measurement within the fall—simply in time to battle different bulls for the proper to mate with cows. With the arrival of winter, the bulls are exhausted from the rut, they usually shed the heavy antlers to preserve power to assist them survive the lengthy Maine winters. Through the summer season, moose wade into ponds or lakes to feast on lilies or pondweed, that are wealthy in sodium.

I then understood that summer season would provide one kind of shot (moose with smaller antlers in water) whereas fall would provide a unique picture (moose with a big rack amongst autumn colours).

Having discovered a information that I favored, I started visiting Maine every year. Some years I’d go to in the summertime and work on discovering the “water shot.” In different years, I’d go to later within the season for the “colourful” moose shot. One in every of my favourite locations to go to was Sandy Stream Pond in Baxter State Park. I’d sit by the lake from dawn to sundown over just a few days photographing the wildlife and birds as they visited this idyllic spot.

On this event, a younger male moose appeared from the woods round midday and waded into the pond. He started to dunk his head beneath the floor of the water to feed on the vegetation under. His antlers weren’t very large, so I wasn’t at first. Nevertheless, after about three “dives” beneath the water’s floor, he shook his head back and forth to clear the water from his antlers. Within the vibrant mild, the spiraling water glistened and created an actual present. Immediately, I noticed {that a} very particular picture may be doable. Frustratingly, although, the moose stood perpendicular to me so I couldn’t seize the total impact. So, I waited and waited. Lastly, after about 45 minutes, the moose turned and confronted me and started to shake his head. As I held down the shutter button, I might see that I had captured the “spin cycle” in all its glory. OP

Nikon D300S, AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4E FL ED VR, Gitzo G1548 tripod, Wimberley gimbal head. Publicity: 1/500 sec., ƒ/4, ISO 400.

See extra of Michael Despines’s work at despines.com.

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