Aside from the wonderful opportunity to watch and photograph a lynx while it hunted a snowshoe hare, my spring weekend in Denali National Park & Preserve with fellow photographers Chris Beck, Matt Brown and Brian Weeks presented a wonderful variety of photo opportunities. It is almost impossible to spend just a couple of days in the park and not come away with something.
During the regular season, park visitors are only allowed to drive their vehicles into the park to the Savage River, at mile 15 of the park road. But, on the shoulder seasons, the road is open all the way to the Teklanika River rest stop, at mile 29. This presents a great opportunity to capture nature as it is waking up from winter. Even during the transition from winter to summer, and with light that was less than ideal, we had plenty of encounters with caribou, hares, porcupine and Willow ptarmigan and several unique glimpses of the land that only occur during a period of a few weeks. And even though the full “super moon” stayed behind the clouds, it still created a golden rim of light around those clouds to give us pixel food for thought.
It was also the first time I took my new Nikon D800E out into the field. I was very pleased with the results, particularly in high dynamic range scenes. It was also the first time I had the opportunity to use my new Nikon 14-24 f/2.8 AFS lens, which came in handy on several wide open landscape scenes.