These two guys were going at it for quite a while. Disclaimer: No animals were hurt in the filming of this scene!
So...the antlers being locked is key to this shot. One raised foot adds to the tension. The plane of focus is parallel to the elk. The snow on the ground adds great contrast and impression of sharpness.
Nikon D1X camera
80-200mm VR lens
1/120 sec at F6.3
thats a great shot! love your images. how far away were you?
one more question, does a higher F stop cause more things to be in focus in the entire image? and so, a lower F stop cause the subject to be in focus, and the background/foreground to be blurred? trying to get a better handle on some of this stuff.
You got it right. In general, lots of depth of focus is good. But there could be times when you'd like to downplay a busy, distracting background and then using a lower F stop (which means a bigger opening in the lens' shutter) will be better. And of course, in low light as in this image, you must go with a lower F stop in order to have a fast enough shutter speed to avoid the effects of camera shake or subject movement induced image blur.
I shot this at about 80 mm, so I was probably 150 feet or so away.