12 Dec 16. Perhaps the hardest of animals to photograph inside Yellowstone is the Grey Wolf. Whenever they are out and about, usually about a mile or more from your location, you can rest assured that there will be a large gaggle of folks with DSLRs, video cameras, spotting scopes, and of course the ubiquitous cell phone user who has absolutely no chance of even seeing them, let alone of getting their portraits. But you will never miss the opportunity of at least having been in the vicinity of them if you just slow down and find a place to pull over and watch the crowd. - OR - You can visit the Grizzly & Wolf Discover Center where they have three packs of them displayed three different ways. If you are patient, AND if you take the time to observe their behavior and position yourself appropriately, you can get some very nice portraits of wolves in totally natural settings. This young lady was a part of the pack of three, but last year her mate died suddenly while undergoing a relatively mundane surgical procedure. The vet ascribed the death to a reaction to the anesthesia but the cause really doesn't make any difference because the outcome is the same. So now there are just the two remaining females and this one was very interested in the viewers at the time of our visit. She had locked her vision on me at the time of this shot and was intent on apparently determining exactly what I was doing which was nothing more than standing perfectly still and taking her portrait. She posed for me for over 15 minutes and I really wanted to get in with her. Of course that would never happen as the Center endeavors to keep them completely wild, but I'm wagering I could have gone in and sat perfectly still and she would have wandered over to check me out. I'll further wager that if I were to do that daily for a month or so that I would be able to walk in any time, sit down and shoot away as they interacted with each other unconcerned by my presence. Given that opportunity I would jump on it in a heartbeat, take as long as needed to make it work, and NEVER attempt to disrupt that confidence by trying to touch them. It will never happen, but dreaming is always fun.
This is straight from the camera save for some cropping. Another version of this shot will be coming your way later in the week. Nikon D300s; 18 - 200; Aperture Priority; ISO 400; 1/400 sec @ f / 7.1.