Elk at Sunset in Rocky Mountain National Park

I previously mentioned that on our first night in Rocky Mountain National Park, we just missed the sunset over Rock Cut, but that there was a silver lining. These elk were that silver lining. Right after leaving Rock Cut, we saw dozens of these guys grazing the tundra. We had already seen a couple elk earlier in the day, but after seeing nothing but Pika on the tundra, it was pretty amazing seeing a herd of elk foraging right as the last of the sunlight disappeared from the tundra. It was the perfect way to end a great day in the park.

This is my first update here in about a week, and I apologize for that. I normally edit photos on the weekends, but constant traveling on the weekends has made this difficult. I suppose the good news is that I have a backlog of photos from Atlanta, Chicago, Washington D.C., and Cincinnati from the last few weekends. The bad news is that I’m heading to Yosemite National Park this weekend and San Francisco the following week (technically, San Francisco both weekends, as I fly into San Francisco to get to Yosemite), so things don’t slow down for me until the beginning of March! Just the same, I’ll make more of an effort to get some photos edited so I can post something here on a daily basis.

Please click the photo for best viewing (larger and in lightbox mode). From there, you can purchase prints by clicking the shopping cart at the top of the screen. You can also navigate to the 1,000+ other images in my photo galleries from there! 


Photographed with a Nikon D700 and the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8. Straight-forward processing here, although the photo was a bit intentionally overexposed to make the elk stand out. Finishing in Photoshop CS6 was just a minor curves adjustment.

Your Thoughts…

There are 59 National Parks in the United States. Which National Park is your favorite? Share your thoughts in the comments!

5 replies
  1. Stone Cold
    Stone Cold says:

    As someone who lives in SF, I can’t wait to see your pics of the City. If the weather is great you will have a field day out here.

  2. Betsy
    Betsy says:

    What a great photo! When I was in Olympic National Park last summer I almost jumped out of the car I was so excited because I thought I had seen a moose. It turned out to be a male elk, but it wasn’t too disappointing as it was still a fantastic animal to photograph.

    Glacier is by far is my favorite National Park. After that it’s a toss up between Olympic and Yosemite. For its charm and beauty, I like Crater Lake. The Tetons and Rocky Mountain are next on my list. Can’t wait to hear about your winter trip to Yosemite!

  3. Kevin
    Kevin says:

    I have sadly only been to a few of the national parks, but of those I liked Rock Mountain National Park the best. I really need to get to Yellowstone, Yosemite, and Glacier some day.

    Pretty photo. Did you use a graduated ND filter on the sky (or in post), or is that just how the sun looked?

    • Tom Bricker
      Tom Bricker says:

      That’s just how the sky looked. I wish I would’ve used a graduated ND filter (I ought to get one). I have multiple exposures…I should try processing this as HDR.

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