One my recent trip to Europe I stumbled onto this friendly group of alpine Ibex´s. A trip with the aim of photographing the alpine lakes of the Aiguilles Rouges natural reserve in the French Alps ended up as the best wildlife photography session I have had. I was chased down from the higher altitude where the lakes reside by clouds and fog. At first when laying down waiting and hoping for the fog and clouds to dissipate a single female Ibex appeared on a rocky ridge 10m away from me. I grabbed my camera and and started shooting expecting it to run away quickly. It stayed there and looked for a while before slowly heading down the hill. This wildlife experience was most exciting for me but was only a start of a great wildlife shooting session.
It became clear to me that the clouds would not dissipate before sunset so I started descending further down the mountain to an old mountain shed visible from higher up. It was my fallback plan after the failed mountain lake shooting. I had only just arrived at the old shed when the alpine Ibex appeared again but this time there were two of them. I quickly abandoned my old mountain shed plans and followed them for a while. After about 10 minutes they decided to climb a large boulder and started practice fighting. What a sight… only 5-7m away from my they slammed their horns against each other. In the fading light I shot like a madman knowing this moment would never come back. They fought for about 20-30 minutes before the rest of the group appeared.
I followed the rest of the group for a while but it was getting dark and I had to find the camera gear I had left behind at various places in a gear selection panic. I have not had this much fun photographing for a while. Getting lost in the forest in darkness on my way down was certainly worth it. Maybe I should try wildlife photography more often although my options are somewhat limited here in Iceland.
Our wildlife photography certainly has centered around our photo safaris and tours, and fortunately, although our personalities are different, we both enjoy working with and helping photographers and, more importantly, doing things together.