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IN THE FIELD: Sometimes It Pays To Dilly-Dally

During our last visit to western Montana, we discovered this statue outside the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. It stands in front of the foundation’s museum, where visitors can learn about the elk and other wildlife of the region, plus what is being done to help preserve their habitats.

After touring the museum, we went outside to get a closer look at this larger-than-life statue. Impressive is a good way to describe it.

I had taken a couple of shots, but the statue was in deep shadow from the thick cloud cover. Disappointed, we started packing up the camera gear and decided to return the next day to try for some better photos. As we were finishing up, we looked back and saw the clouds had parted, allowing the sun to shine through and highlight the statue. So I quickly grabbed the camera and tripod. And I was able to compose a few shots before the light disappeared.

I sure am glad we were taking our time putting all the photo equipment away!


  1. December 30, 2011 at 9:49 am

    It came out pretty decent considering the lighting problem.

    • December 31, 2011 at 9:49 am

      Thanks Bob, the skies were threatening there for a bit!

  2. December 30, 2011 at 10:18 am

    I’m glad you took your time, too. Beautiful shot! Very impressive against that dark sky.

    • December 31, 2011 at 9:52 am

      Thanks Lee, it pays to move in slow motion from time to time. We were lucky though, because the skies let loose shortly after we got the shots!

  3. December 30, 2011 at 10:54 am

    It is wonderful, you are always being a nice guide for me, I’ll remember this. You captured this amazing statue so beautifully, the sky gives a very nice contrast…I loved it dear David, Thank you, Happy New Year, with my love, nia

    • December 31, 2011 at 9:53 am

      Thank you Nia! The statue sure is an impressive sight. Happy New Year to you too!

  4. Nandini
    December 30, 2011 at 11:50 am

    Impressive! The background plays significant role in this photo. And, of course the angle, Beautiful. The small amount of light falling on it, works well too. Loved this one! 🙂

    • December 31, 2011 at 9:54 am

      Thanks Nandini! The statue is pretty amazing and the sky really adds to the drama!

  5. December 30, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    the extra moment that DeWit talks about – great shot

    • December 31, 2011 at 9:56 am

      Thanks Jane! Ahh, another Dewitt follower…I’ve been reading his columns in Outdoor Photographer since the mag first started.

  6. Jo Woolf
    December 30, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    Very dramatic – what a perfect background!

    • December 31, 2011 at 9:57 am

      Thanks Jo, I guess we were at the right place at the right time! The skies really added to the drama for sure!

  7. December 30, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    I like it! Yes, sometimes dragging your feet is a good thing!

    • December 31, 2011 at 10:04 am

      It worked out pretty well that afternoon. We got the shots and shortly after we put everything away it started to pour! So we decided to go eat dinner while it was raining.

  8. December 30, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    A nice strong silhouette.

    • December 31, 2011 at 10:06 am

      Thanks Meanderer! It’s one of my favorite shots I’ve taken while visiting Montana!

  9. December 30, 2011 at 10:11 pm

    It’s great you were able to get the shot you wanted. This is a nice silhouette against the dark clouds.

    • December 31, 2011 at 10:07 am

      Thanks Fergie, I am glad we looked back…everything fell into place…for just a few moments!

  10. December 31, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    Wow, gorgeous capture here, David! Just perfect! And Happy New Year!

  11. December 31, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    Thank You Katie ! It’s one of my fav’s. Happy New Year Year to you too!!!

  12. January 1, 2012 at 12:49 am

    Hi David, love this shot! The lighting is just right.
    Happy New Year – may you have many opportunities to dilly dally with your camera near to hand in 2012.

  13. January 1, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    Thanks Ehpem! The great light lasted but a few minutes…and I have my camera with me at all times…even when I am dilly dallying!

  14. January 1, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    Bad weather, cloudy dark sky can be uncomfortable but very useful for a good photo! Great result and a good lesson to learn: do not hurry too much! Have a good and exciting 2012 !

    • January 2, 2012 at 10:17 am

      You are correct…bad weather can be uncomfortable but sometimes it can really pay off. Usually you have the place to yourself and are rewarded with great photos!

  15. January 1, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    Awesome lighting. Its been so overcast here that its hard to get excited about going out to get some shots. Have a blessed New Year. Looking forward to another year filled with photography lessons on your site. Thanks for sharing.

    • January 2, 2012 at 10:21 am

      Thanks for the kind thoughts Jeanne, it has been pretty dreary lately here also, but I am trying to keep the spirits up and the creativity levels high! It’s going to be a great year!!!

  16. January 2, 2012 at 10:44 am

    nice shot! As always, love the perspective !

  17. January 2, 2012 at 11:55 am

    Thanks Xandi!!! This one worked out pretty well I’d say!

  18. mya
    January 3, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    Oh this I love. Looks so moody and film like.

    • January 4, 2012 at 8:13 am

      Thanks Mya, the photo certainly would have a different feel had it been a sunny day! I like the drama this has. Thanks for stopping by!!!

  19. January 4, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    this is such a brilliant shot! Wow looks like it’s real! The cloud gives the picture magnificence!

  20. January 5, 2012 at 8:40 am

    Thanks Kristina, It’s one of my favorites, and yes the clouds really do add to the scene. We went by the next day and it was sunny but it didn’t have quite the impact. Got lucky I guess!

  21. January 6, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    Perfect timing! You couldn’t ask for beter lighting on the subject. Great DRAMA! –John

  22. January 8, 2012 at 10:07 am

    Thanks John, this is one of my favorites!!! The light was falling on the statue for only a few moments…enough time for me to get a few shots…then the skies let loose!!!

  23. January 13, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    Great backlighting – I really like how it highlights the shape of the statue, especially the head and horns.

  24. January 15, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    Thanks MIke, the lighting gods were with me that afternoon. The sun only poked through the clouds for a few minutes, then it got dark and poured rain! Right time right place for sure!

  25. Fiona.q
    January 23, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    definitely a great shot!

  26. WordsFallFromMyEyes
    August 23, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    Beautiful. Strong and magnificent.

  27. August 24, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    Thank you WFFME, it is quite a sculpture/statue…larger than life! Glad you visited and commented!

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