Making Prints | Photographing Details of Plains Bison Fur

by on August 11, 2016

bison bison bison (scientific name)

This is one of my favourite images of a plains bison. At a first glance, I easily spot 4x wrong with the image. Don’t even get me started on why I didn’t move to my right and get more body and less trees. Or moving back a few steps so I could capture all of her cool hair sticking out on top. The list continues. Bah.

Plains bison bull (bison bison bison) walking through the woods as she eats during an early spring morning at Elk Island National Park. Alberta wildlife environmental portrait.

Instead of complaining, I think about the things I love about this image – her fur. She is a super healthy adult bison cow if I had to guess just by judging the quality of her fur. I remember thinking how incredible her fur is in person – a digital photo doesn’t do it justice – her fur almost sparkled at times. I’ve seen hundreds of bison over the years, some of them many times over. I’ve seen all different stages of age and health, but this has got to be the most beautiful coat of fur I have seen. The fur is so thick and shiny and even though she was starting to moult, you could still see how good of shape she is in. This image was made during an early spring morning at Elk Island National Park.

I had printed this image in 11×14 and I had also framed it. However, when switching frames a while later, I ripped a hole right in the middle of the print (whoopsie daisy), so I think I am going to definitely crop this image on the left for a slightly tighter portrait and send it to my awesome printer and framer chap, Lewis, and get this hung back up in my flat – only this time as a 16×20 print.

I’ll definitely post a photo when I get this done, whenever that may be. I usually have my work printed in archival cotton rag these days, but I’m thinking something else is more appropriate to really show off her fur? Epson metallic or their regular pro luster perhaps? Thankfully Lewis (Precision Imaging) will be able to suggest the right materials.

See you in the field!


Photographer. Podcaster on hiatus. Edmonton Oilers lovah. Cinematic Star Wars fan. Fond of wildlife conservation, animal rescue orgs, and all things Johnny Cash. Gen X. 

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