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DebbieSalvesen
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acglock November 01, 2015
Great focus!
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eelcovanroden November 11, 2015
Congratulations on your People's choice Challenge win!!
 
Skelter December 17, 2015
So cute!! I used to have a prairie dog as a pet. I miss that little guy!
 
constancelowery May 20, 2016
excellent photography!
 
JDLifeshots May 26, 2016
Amazing capture! Congrats.
 
JDLifeshots October 12, 2016
Congrats again!
 
Witmar November 28, 2016
beautiful
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jolandiebotha January 25, 2017
Your photo is awesome and perfect for my challenge Animals having a meal please join it you will find it under my profile. Kind regards Jolandie
 
ziggyzoo52 June 06, 2017
Lol fabulous
 
gallmese May 26, 2018
((((::::
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Bri32123 Jan 01
gorgeous

Chow Time in the Meadow



The image of this prairie dog reminds me of an older scruffy male with a cigar hanging out of the side of his mouth. I love the character and spunk he portrays ...
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The image of this prairie dog reminds me of an older scruffy male with a cigar hanging out of the side of his mouth. I love the character and spunk he portrays naturally. Hopefully this animal and many more will survive the out-of-control fires happening now in Glacier National Park where I photographed him. I just could not believe I was in Montana basking in the beauty of the park and then one week later it was being ravaged by fire!
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Awards

Winner in Animals having a meal Photo Challenge
People's Choice in Admirable Animals Photo Challenge
Featured
Contest Finalist in 800 Rodents Photo Contest
People's Choice in Smile Photo Challenge
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Peer Award
Superb Composition
+46
Absolute Masterpiece
+38
Top Choice
+37
Magnificent Capture
+21
Outstanding Creativity
+12
All Star
+5
Superior Skill
+4
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Behind The Lens

Location
I was photographing in Glacier National Park near Logan's Pass in Montana.
Time
I was up at the pass close to sunset because a herd of Bighorn Sheep usually appear to eat the food that careless humans have littered the ground with. While waiting for them to appear, I happened to notice this little guy munching on his meal of natural plants and flowers. I just started photographing him which was challenging because he kept skirting around, but I kept panning him and was able to capture this shot.
Lighting
The only light I had was what nature provided because I did not want to startle the animals with a flash and because he was moving so quickly from spot to spot, I did not have time to adjust any lighting. It was all done through my changing one of three functions on my camera: ISO, Exposure, and Aperture.
Equipment
I used a Canon EOS 5D Mark III with settings of: Aperture: f 6.3, Exposure: 1/1600, ISO: 800, and Focal Length: 400 mm. I did not use a tripod. I handheld the camera but would brace myself against a rock wall for stability if the image allowed for it. Also, for this photography adventure I rented the camera body which allowed me to try out a great camera without having to spend the thousands of dollars it may cost to buy it.
Inspiration
I love capturing the details of nature and wildlife that people seem too busy to notice these days, especially since smartphones are usually glued to their hands. I want to inspire people to take an active role in protecting our fragile Earth and its natural resources. My motto is: "Beauty is in the Details." If my images can encourage a person to put down the phone and take a moment to enjoy the beauty around them, then I have succeeded in my goal. What I love most about this image is how it reminds me of an older scruffy man with a cigar hanging out of his mouth. I love the character and spunk of this prairie dog. He makes me smile every time I look at this image.
Editing
I am old school so I don't believe in much post production, especially when textures and brush strokes are used in the final image of a living subject. Such gross manipulation renders the image of nature or wildlife inanimate. It is acceptable if the photographer is submitting the image as digital art, but not as a living, natural, and fragile part of our world. With that in mind, I only did minimal enhancements such as cropping, adjusting white balance, and probably adjusting the vibrancy.
In my camera bag
I usually have two camera bodies, with at least a 100-400 mm lens and a 24-70 mm lens. I carry MANY extra batteries and cards so I am never in a position where I lose the shot because I wasn't prepared. I don't carry a tripod, but will keep it in the car if I think I might use it.
Feedback
If you want to capture a moving animal that is in the wild and not caged, you need to practice your panning skills. You need to be able to get your subject in focus immediately and keep it there while moving the camera. Second most important skill you need is working in Manual, or at least Aperture. You will not get the detail you want if you photograph in automatic. Third, and the one I continue to struggle with, is the proper balance of speed, exposure, and ISO because you want to be able to capture the image clearly with as little noise as possible. This is a challenge for me especially when I am photographing sea life (mostly whales) from a small rocking fishing boat in rain. Another very important factor is protecting your equipment from the elements and weather. When I photograph in Alaska, I think my camera equipment might have as many layers of protection on as I do! The final advice I have is to Keep Your Eyes OPEN!!! Turn of the cellphone and constantly scan your horizon for that next exciting yet fleeting photo opportunity.

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