Back To The Arsenal

Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge
Mule Deer taking a stroll at Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge

After a bout of vehicular problems, I’m finally back out in nature getting photographs.

Not that I have been without transportation. To the contrary, I have a lovely brand new Lexus suv in the garage, but it’s difficult to plan road trips when there is only one family vehicle. I can’t very well be driving off to the hinterlands and leave the the other family members without transportation.

With repairs completed to my normal photography vehicle, I needed to take it out for a spin and see if I could manage a few photographs in the process. There are few better places in the Denver metropolitan area than Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge.

RMANWR is loaded with wild deer, hawks, bald eagles, bison, coyote, prairie dogs and other critters. It’s seldom that one can visit the refuge and not find a few photographs.

Another great thing is working RMA in winter, primarily for deer and bison. Deer are active all year round there and they don’t begin to drop antlers until after February. My preference is to go to the Arsenal the day after a snow, but that’s not always possible.

I’ve accumulated thousands of photos of “deer in sticks”, but from time to time a very nice surprise pops up. One must keep looking for something better. Mostly, I use my photos from RMA as stock photography. I figure if I can get at least 10 usable shots from an outing, the trip will pay for itself eventually.

Yesterday’s outing was a worthwhile venture. I managed 11 stock photos, got out of the house for a few hours and had the opportunity to test out my primary photography vehicle after repair. Everything went well. I also managed to test out my newly reconfigured photography kit. I’m now packing two camera bodies, the Nikon D850 and the D810, plus lenses, the 24-70 mm f/2.8, 70-200mm f/4 and the 200-500mm f/5.6. I also keep a second macro bag, which contains a 50mm f/2.8 and a 105mm f/2.8 macro lens. Not too bulky and it gives me everything I’ll need in the field without having to bring a suitcase full of gear. My next mission is to create a loaner/backup kit, which will consist of a Nikon D750 and D500 along with an assortment of lenses. I figure I need to pick up two more lenses to make that a decent kit, perhaps a 70-300mm and a 150-600mm superzoom (Tamron is what I have my eye on) to go with the 24-120mm f/4 and the 18-140mm EX f/3.5 and perhaps my 50mm f/1.8 prime lens.

I’ll probably need to look at another camera bag too.

Yes indeed. Rocky Mountain Arsenal NWR is a good proving ground for all things photography.