There Are No Marmot Photography Workshops, Rocky Mountain National Park

You can try searching, but there are no marmot photography workshops available. At least, I didn't find one.

Certainly, you could talk someone into providing a custom marmot photo tour, but there is a reason (or multiple reasons) why such tours are not readily available. I'll start the list. We don't value marmots and marmot photos enough to spend our time and funds chasing them.

However, these small animals are fun to hang out with, and they are easily cute enough to be photo-worthy.

I photographed these creatures in three national parks last year. This marmot was a Rocky Mountain National Park resident. However, a couple of coyotes were attempting to end that residency. Thus, survival was at the top of this wary marmot's priority list, and the high rock perch advantaged the marmot in this competition.

Marmots, and animals in general, vary on their minimum people distance. In relation to close shooting distance, experience, observation, and acclimation are the photographer's keys to getting the best wildlife images. Marmots in people-frequented areas of national parks tend to be quite tolerant of people.

However, getting too close is not good for photos or the critter being photographed — the subject departs.

When an interesting subject is discovered, photograph it for the insurance shots. Then, if the situation warrants, slowly move a bit closer, perhaps not directly toward the subject. Repeat until, or better yet, just before, the animal shows the least discomfort with your presence.

This image represents what I felt was near this marmot's minimum people distance. It is alert and wary, but his concern is not me.

The marmot presented a variety of poses, but most were looking toward the sides. Composition involves many factors, but the simple one in this scenario was that the critter should be looking into the frame. Placing it high in the frame helps convey the lookout role.

Sorry, I'm not opening a marmot-specific photography tour this year. But, I may have a couple of openings in my elk rut instructional photo tour in September.

Camera and Lens Settings
600mm  f/4.0  1/160s
ISO 200
8640 x 5760px
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