Risk vs Reward

Massive bull bison (Bison, bison) in peak physical condition at the start of the rut, pauses for a moment to scan the herd in the plains of Lamar Valley, evaluating the competition and prospective mating partners.

EF 200-400mm +2x @ 560mm; f/8 @ 1/60 sec, ISO 100


Great job contrasting the Bison with its surroundings to make it standout.

Thank you Lanis. My approach to finishing my images is “if color is not important to, or is a distraction from the subject, then the image will be best presented in monochrome.” In the field Ansel Adams stressed seeing in black and white—as form, texture and contrast are what is paramount.

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Bison is very nicely placed in the frame with nice tones in the Bison.

Thank you, Jagdeep. Finding this big bull off to himself was a treat. Since his attention was away from me he was mostly motionless which provided me with the opportunity to select a good composition. Watching him survey the herd was fascinating. I understood the mental calculations he was making. All animals do that, including humans.

The level of detail in the bison’s skin and fury coat as well as the muscular body are just phenomenal and more pronounced then ever possible if the image was rendered in colour

Thank you, Ismar. You are absolutely correct. In addition to rendering this image in B&W to maximize the perception of contour and texture in the bison, I also reduced the contrast in the surrounding landscape and applied a bit of blur to the background to make the bison even more prominent.