Dall Sheep Ram's Head with Purple Mountains Majesty, Denali National Park

A great subject in great light aligned with a great background and captured by a high-performing camera and lens combination is a sure recipe for an image I like. In this case, and often the case, the hard work was getting to the right location at the right time. The photo was easy to capture.

As I said in the last Dall Sheep Ram photo I shared, the Canon EOS R5 and RF 100-500mm F4.5-7.1 L IS USM Lens were the first choice for this adventure. The R5 was selected for its high resolution, AF performance, and ease of use, and the RF 100-500 was selected for the optimal focal length range, including 100mm for environmental portraits and 500mm for tighter framing or distant subjects, and outstanding sharpness over the range, backed up by a high-performing image stabilization system. The relatively compact size of this combination proved ideal for the climb.

My go-to wildlife camera settings were in place for this image. The eye must be sharp, and the subject (and I) were moving, so servo (continuous) AF with eye detection was selected. The aperture was set to the widest available at all focal lengths (initially f/4.5 at 100mm), and the shutter speed was frequently and rapidly adjusted to the comfortably lowest needed (or lower after initial safety/insurance shots were captured). Auto ISO ensured that the exposure instantly changed for the shutter speed selected (and light changes), with exposure compensation applied as needed.

While the ram was moving, it wasn't moving fast. Thus, I opted for the 1st-curtain electronic shutter to retain the full 14-bit image quality with still fast "H" continuous shooting mode providing good viewfinder coverage (low blackout).

Camera and Lens Settings
451mm  f/6.3  1/500s
ISO 160
8192 x 5464px
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