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Dharma



A photo of Dharma at wolf park in Indiana. They unfortunately lost Dharma in June 2015.

A photo of Dharma at wolf park in Indiana. They unfortunately lost Dharma in June 2015.
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Awards

Amateur Winner Celebrating Nature Photo Contest Vol 5
Contest Finalist in Celebrating Nature Photo Contest Vol 5
Contest Finalist in Wildlife In Remote Places Photo Contest
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Winner in Majestic Animals Photo Challenge
Contest Finalist in Celebrating Nature Photo Contest
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8 Comments | Report
mirzak
 
mirzak July 09, 2015
What a beautiful creature. Great capture!
Aissa
 
Aissa August 18, 2015
Fabulous, I like wolves...
KatieMcKinneyPhotography PRO+
 
KatieMcKinneyPhotography November 13, 2015
Congratulations on winning my "Majestic Animals" challenge! It was really tough choosing a winner however this photo just stood out to me and I couldn't help but keep coming back to it. Wolves are indeed majestic and the way you captured this wolf is so beautiful. He looks like an older wiser wolf, those eyes are just so captivating. The angle and perspective you used was perfect for this shot. And that blurred background is fantastic (nice colors). Well done!
nandicmb
 
nandicmb November 13, 2015
Congratulations on winning the Majestic Animals Photo Challenge and also the Contest Finalist win in Celebrating Nature Photo Contest!
heathermoreton PRO
 
heathermoreton November 14, 2015
THank you so much!!
subhans11
 
subhans11 February 17, 2017
Lion and Tiger may be more powerful,
but the wolf doesn't perform in Circus.
awesome picture.
ashleylong_3815
 
ashleylong_3815 June 20, 2018
Beautiful photo!
sweetpea72
 
sweetpea72 November 17, 2018
Beautiful! :)

Behind The Lens

Location
I shot this photo at "Wolf Park" in Lafayette, Indiana. I was with a group of 4 other photographers that I had not met before - we all chipped in to pay for a photography session at Wolf Park. I had never shot photos of wolves before (usually I photograph horses) so I was nervous about maybe not getting a good shot. We were given a hour long dissertation on where to stand and general "Safe" behavior so that we did not provoke the wolves. Although these animals were raised by humans and have interacted with humans every day, they are still wild animals to the core. They are still apex predators and there was definitely an element of danger in getting into the enclosures with them. We had no fences between us and the wolves. We were right in with them. It was the most exhilarating feeling! To this day there are a lot of people who tell me that they would never, in a million years, get into an enclosure with a wolf. (I can't wait to do it again sometime!) This photo is of Dharma as she was sighting some prey on the horizon.
Time
This photo was taken around late morning. It was a VERY cold, cloudy early October day and the wind made it even colder! It had been raining for days and everything was soaked. Luckily though the trees had turned already and the grass was still very green so it made for really nice bokeh behind Dharma's head.
Lighting
Whenever I have what would be considered "bad" lighting, like a rainy day, I try really hard to focus more on the subject and interesting ways to get photos that are out of the norm. If the light isn't on your side, you need to find that one interesting perspective to capture! I also kept an eye on the sky and tried to make sure that if there was a lighter spot in the clouds I was ready.
Equipment
At the time I took this photo I had a Canon t3i with a 70mm - 200mm f2.8 lens.
Inspiration
Even though Dharma was a "captive" wolf, she still had a lot of dark mystery around her. She was more friendly and more approachable than her pack mate Wotan so I found that I took more photos of her. I was crouching down in the grass, just watching her when she suddenly went very still for a split second and that's when I captured the moment! I had no idea what I had until I got home late that night and went through my photos..
Editing
I use photoshop elements 14. I know that most photographers use lightroom and full photoshop but I had started with photoshop elements 5 way back when, and that's the program I know the best. There are a couple of "actions" that I got off of the internet that help level out the colors and kick up the saturation a bit so I use those. My favorite are "Coffee Shop Actions". I find that digital images are very very different than film (that I learned before I learned digital photography) and take a different mindset. With film, you didn't have a lot of flexibility as to what you could do after it was printed in a dark room. With Digital images the sky is the limit and there is no expectation that you won't tweak an image in some way.
In my camera bag
Now i have a Canon 7D MK2 and I like the sensor on it much much better! I have a camera backpack that allows adjustment of the interior for the different sized lenses. I have my trusty Canon 70-200mm f2.8 lens; a Canon 24-105mm f4 lens, two batteries, a lens cleaning kit, battery charger and micro cloths. I also make sure that i have plenty of SD cards!
Feedback
The only advice that I could give someone that is trying to capture something similar is: don't take your eyes off of your subject. If your subject is an animal put your focus on AI servo and keep looking through that view finder! Wolves and horses move constantly so you may only have a split second to get a great image! Also practice.. the more you shoot a moving subject the better you'll get at those rare moments!

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