Wildlife: Black wolf
DRYING OFF: BLACK WOLF, SPRAY VALLEY PROVINCIAL PARK, ALBERTA
Let me start off by saying the series of photographs I made of this gorgeous creature is one of the absolute highlights of my 30+ years of photography. I was driving along Highway 40 in this provincial park (a hidden gem in the Canadian Rockies, little known outside the province of Alberta) on a wet morning when I spotted her (apparently wildlife official have named her “Lillian”) walking along the opposite shoulder.
Scarcely believing my luck, I pulled off the road, scrambled like a madman to (a) pull the camera bag from the back seat without clipping myself in the head and (b) put my 70-300 mm. zoom lens on the Nikon D90. Incredibly, the wolf didn’t run away, so I made a series of close-up compositions against a ho-hum earth-and-rock embankment.
A conservation officer came along and asked me to move the car (it was right on a corner beside a rock wall), so I did and, incredibly again, the wolf was still there when I parked, got out and walked back to where I was. Now, it was on top of the embankment, giving me the much better background you see here.
I made tons of pictures while it almost seemed to pose for me, not just to get various looks but also to ensure at least some were in focus (the camera was set at F 5.6, which allows for very little depth of field). On this picture, I darkened the trees and grass so your eye wouldn’t be distracted from the wolf.
Before these pictures, made just a few days ago, I’d never even seen a wolf in the wild — and I’ve visited the Canadian Rocky Mountains at least 100 times — much less photographed one. (you can see another photo of Lillian here: http://bit.ly/Z5jbeg)
Click on the picture for a larger view.
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