Monday, September 8, 2008

Dall Sheep

Dall sheep ram, Denali National Park, Alaska
Canon 1Ds Mark III, 400mm 5.6L, 1/125 sec @ f/5.6, ISO 400

In the unhunted mountains of Denali Park there are some good sized Dall sheep rams. With virtually no pressure from humans, the sheep have slowly been habituated to human presence. I know a place where a band of rams hang out, but the area is large, and in this case, required quite a bit of hiking until I found them along the steep ridges. I took this shot with the Canon 400m 5.6L, I like this lens for two main reasons: one, it is very, very sharp and two, it is light weight. Unfortunately, it is not image stabilized and does require careful use, even on a tripod (especially a light weight tripod which I also favor when there is a lot vertical climb involved). In lower light, the auto focus does not perform as accurately as some of the fast lenses in this range, but all of the trade offs are worth it. I've taken some remarkably sharp photos with it, and as long as one is methodical about technique, its a winner. I actually bought it to trek for the Mountain Gorillas in Uganda, wanting something with good reach, light, but with excellent quality. The light on this late afternoon was pretty flat for most of the time, the exposure reveals how dim it was. But still, the ram struck a nice pose, and the background autumn colors are a good accent.

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