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.