Okay, now I'm really behind with uploading On Tuesday I visited Wildpark Knüll, where I haven't been since October 2011. Wolves and Bears are coexisting in the same enclosure there, and while both species were quite stressed for the first few months, it seems to go really well by now.
This photo was taken after the bears were locked up in the evening so both species can get some rest
The wolves there have are morphologically slightly different from most other Eurasian Wolves I've seen so far, and I'm not quite sure why.
Here's another photo from the session at Wildpark Alte Fasanerie near Hanau, Germany.
These are two arctic wolf yearlings, well, playing. The wolf to the right tries to entice the other wolf to play-chase her, and he is about to make it happen
The stalking-like appearance combined with a play-bow like posture is typical for play behavior. The tail is usually waving around too and held in T2 position (in extension to the spine, parallel to the ground) or a bit higher or lower.
After a long time, I've been visiting Wildpark Neuhaus again last weekend. It looks like they just had puppies, and I am eager to probably go there again today to see if they walk out of their den....
Here's who seems to be one of last year's puppies The 400mm really comes in handy at that enclosure, especially because you can even shoot through the fence at a distance of several feet relatively well without too much visual interference.
The only drawback is that it is usually really dark there. Also, that day, it was quite overcast but the sun was peeking through once in a while... much like today's weather is.
I had to shoot at high ISO, but I finally bought a Noise Ninja license (damn expensive, but probably well worth it too) and so I reduced some of the noise in a couple of photos.
Also my new CS6 license arrived, and their RAW noise reduction algorithm seems to have improved some too... wish I knew that before
However, here's one of a couple of photos I took last weekend, I might upload at least another one tomorrow.
Male Eurasian Wolf at Wildpark Neuhaus. Yes, a rather unusual and controversial crop... all thanks to the prime lens
Usually I discard photos that are cropped like this one, because they always look like there's something missing. But I thought I'd give it a shot with a very tight crop that makes it a little less obvious - since I liked the posture a lot
This photo pretty much sums up my impression of the first two sessions with the EOS 1D X. It was taken at the same low light scene at Wildpark Edersee where I've always failed to take sharp photos of even slowly moving wolves. And now here's a photo of one of the adult timber wolves running through the foliage... and yes, the EXIF is correct, this is 1/1250s at ISO 8000 (because I stopped the lens down to f/4) and I was surprised to see how useable it still is. One particularly fascinating aspect is that despite the high ISO, the colors are still very vivid, something that just didn't work with the 1Ds Mk III. Although it worked pretty well here, I'm not overly impressed by the new AF accuracy and speed. But yes, the AI servo tracking is spectacular... and I must admit this is autumn joy not only for the wolves The most exciting thing about the new camera is that I am getting shots I could never have taken with the old one. It's a whole new kind of photography.
More to come...
EXIF: Camera: Canon EOS 1D X Lens: 400mm f/2.8 IS II USM 400mm f/4 @ 1/1250s, ISO 8000