Showcase 2020 Winner Profile – Wiebe Gortmaker

Showcase 2020 Judges’ Choice, Mammals: "Bighorn Huddle” © Wiebe Gortmaker
Showcase 2020 Judges’ Choice, Mammals: “Bighorn Huddle” © Wiebe Gortmaker

How I Got the Shot

In late January, on the way from Denver to Yellowstone National Park, some friends and I stopped in Jackson Hole for the night. Driving up the east side of the National Elk Refuge just out of town we came across a herd of 30 – 40 bighorn sheep. In late afternoon diffused light I found these four rams about to do some head-butting. Quickly setting up my new 600mm lens on my tripod I was able to grab a few frames before two of them separated and began jousting. The other two went back to grazing.

What I Used

I used a Nikon D500 with a AF-S Nikkor 600mm f/4E FL ED VR lens. The settings were 1/500 of a sec at f/5.6, ISO 200. Basic adjustments including a crop in Lightroom CC. Final adjustment in Photoshop CC for contrast and color.

About Me

I am based in Boulder, Colorado, and consider myself a full-time hobbyist. After retiring from the airline industry, I have devoted a high percentage of my time to travel and learning photography. In the past few years, I have moved from travel photography to primarily wildlife and landscape photography. Prior to my time with airlines I spent considerable time in remote areas of Alaska and Central and South America. I am now able to revisit those places with a focus on photography.

My Photographic Journey

I have lived in Colorado since college and spent a lot of time flying, hiking, climbing in the wild places in my back yard. With my new hobby I am looking at these places in a new way, trying to preserve the image and feelings I have of the wildlife and landscape. This process motivates me to learn and discover.

NANPA and Me

I have been a NANPA member for about two years. After reading many articles in Outdoor Photographer by Melissa Groo, Amy Gulick, George Lepp, William Neill and, especially, a conservation article by fellow Coloradan Dave Showalter, I joined NANPA. I have not yet served as an officer, a volunteer or on a committee. Other than my local camera club, the 2020 Showcase was the first competition I have entered.

Learn More About Me

My NANPA portfolio is: http://www.nanpa.org/events/showcase/about-nanpa-showcase/2020-top-24-showcase-wiebe-gortmaker/.