Cutthroat Trout were once found all across the west before other species were introduced to compete for habitat and food supply. Now, while the Cutthroat species and various subspecies still persist, their numbers and sizes are dramatically different then what was once prevalent. What you see above, in most places throughout Montana, is a standard size Cutthroat, in this case a Yellowstone Cutthroat. Why did I take this shot? I was asked this by the guy holding the fish because he thought it was a little boring until he saw the photo, but simply put it was a new species and a great looking subject. Now most of the time I use flash in my fish images but seeing the light, looking at the dark background and bright subject, a simple click with the D5 and 24-70 AF-S did the trick.
Not everyone fishes during or after a snow storm let alone when it’s below freezing but sometimes it yields rewards. For a photographer the reward is that freshly fallen snow, add in a great mountain range and top it off with a little spot lighting and boom you got something to work with. I talked about this situation last week but I decided to combine two things from last week into this one image.
I talked about the benefits of going out after a storm or evening one out and I also talked about composing the image without the subject being in direct light. You can see both here. What’s the subject? Does that subject have to be lit? Is there a way to show him or here without light? Yes, these things are all possible if you’re watching whats happening around you. Sometimes they are planned but the best images are spontaneous and capture the moment that exists. Those images tell a story.
Winter storms can really suck the motivation away from going out with the camera. It’s cold, it’s dark, it’s snowing and you’re left with this challenge of making something happen with all that. Well despite that, they can break up and when they do that fresh coat of snow can be gorgeous. Well up at Hyalite Reservoir a really strong storm came through that basically was white conditions. After 20 minutes it was gone and all that was left was fresh snow and some great pocket lighting.
It’s hard to believe the blue sky came out but it was never more welcome. In these type of scenarios I love using a longer lens, mainly the 70-200 VRII because it allows you to isolate certain areas that are more interesting while eliminating more distracting spots. Since I wasn’t expecting this to happen and I had a more stripped down setup I made do with the 24-70 AF-S and High Speed Crop. When these situations come up you have to adapt quickly or miss out.