Ensuring the future of elk, other wildlife, their habitat and our hunting heritage.


Monday, January 4, 2016

Photoshopped or Genuine?

The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s January-February issue of Bugle magazine caught a lot of attention as soon as it hit our members’ mailboxes. How could it not? The cover is one of the most unique in RMEF’s 31-year history. It is the product of Jake Mosher, a frequent Bugle contributor. And as Jake explains below, the colorful cover has its own unique story to tell.


We certainly live in a photo-shopped world. I'm not sure if you happened to see the other picture I submitted with this, but I attached it here. The shot that ran on the cover was one of 800 40-second exposures I took remotely between the hours of 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. in eastern Montana. I used a Nikon D810, 20mm f1.8 Nikkor lens, and a Promote remote control. By facing the camera north, our Earth's rotation appears to spin the stars around Polaris. With 800 individual images, I'm able to combine them into one photograph in which the stars appear not as individual points but as colorful, concentric arcs around the North Star. 

While looking through the 800 pictures I used to form this "star trail" image, I found the one where, just by good luck, a shooting star was captured between the elk's antlers. Generally, in any given star trail shoot, I'll have between six and twenty falling stars. The northern lights are an added bonus, and appeared two different times during this shoot - once for about 15 minutes shortly after dark, and then again closer to daybreak. 

I have also attached a low-res, time-lapse film (see below) I made of the 800 pictures which shows the dancing light which accompanies the Aurora Borealis.

Jake Mosher

If interested in purchasing one of Jake's photos, go here.




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