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Never Challenge the Alpha Wolf!
2nd PlaceNever Challenge the Alpha Wolf!
basssman7


Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Action Shot III (Advanced Editing VII*)
Camera: Nikon D200
Lens: Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG APO IF for Nikon
Location: Haliburton, ON
Date: Feb 21, 2009
Aperture: f4
ISO: 125
Shutter: 1/200 sec
Galleries: Nature, Action
Date Uploaded: Feb 24, 2009

woohoo! two ribbons in one week!

Thank you so much for all the great comments and votes. I feel so honoured. :)

Well, these are two wolves. The white one really is the alpha wolf. It is presently breeding season so some of the other males are getting put in their place if they show interest in a female. (only the alpha male and alpha female are allowed to mate in a pack)

I have had lots of questions on where my wolf shots were taken. Here is the deal:

They were taken at the Haliburton Forest Wolf Center. Essentially it is on the edge of Algonquin Park and they have their own pack of 7 Grey Wolves. They are in a 15 acre enclosure. If they really wanted to they could get out because they could jump the fences in the winter time.

They work hard to keep the wolves wild. What they do is they feed them irregularly like they would in the wild. They usually get fed once every 7 to 10 days. They are fed mostly beaver (local trappers take the pelt and donate the rest of the beaver, guts and all) or white tail deer or moose which is usually road kill. These are given to them whole, just like in the wild so they eat the skin, fur, bones, everything.

The wolf center is a building with lots of wolf photos, even some skeletons for learning purposes etc...everything wolf.

At one side you can enter a large room which has 3 windows which are likely 10 feet high by 12 feet wide which look out onto the wolf enclosure. The windows face out onto a hill which is partially cleared so that the wolves like to spend time there sunning themselves. The glass is one-way so that the wolves cannot see the people looking at them. They can definitely hear you though. They would run back into the forest if they actually seen you, but have learned to ignore the sounds coming from the building.

It is a pain in the butt shooting through glass because of reflections and because the one way coating really hurts the sharpness and messes the colour balance of the shots...so it is tough to shoot there.

So basically you get a glimpse into the world of wild wolves. :) They sometimes come right up to the windows, although they are usually way up on the hill pretty much out of range and in the trees. Sometimes they come down an you get photo ops. This one was possible because it is mating time for the pack, so there is lots of action going on. The white wolf is in fact the Alpha.

It is certainly a semi-controlled shooting situation but definately not like a zoo where the animals are not really wild and are just pacing nervously around. These animals exhibit their normal wild behaviours because they really are wild.

Statistics
Place: 2 out of 194
Avg (all users): 7.2542
Avg (commenters): 8.4167
Avg (participants): 6.8732
Avg (non-participants): 7.4182
Views since voting: 29803
Views during voting: 574
Votes: 236
Comments: 56
Favorites: 26 (view)


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AuthorThread
03/10/2009 10:55:11 PM
Great capture - and love the explanation too. Terrific work!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/09/2009 06:04:18 AM
great action shot. congratulations ... and they are just havin' fun :-)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/07/2009 03:23:02 PM
congrats on your second red ribbon in just one week.
you gotta love wolves from now on!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/04/2009 08:26:37 PM
Originally posted by cujee:

so are they mating or fighting? :P Amazing shot


They are fighting. These are two males.

I might be able to get some mating picks this weekend, but it is not the sort of thing I would enter here. lol Wolf porn!
03/04/2009 07:20:55 PM
Cool Shot. Congrats on the Ribbons!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/04/2009 05:00:35 PM
Great capture, congratulations!!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/04/2009 04:39:40 PM
nice use of the square crop, and nice info too. congrats
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/04/2009 04:20:34 PM
Thanks for the details, love your shots, this one fits the challenge well, congrats!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/04/2009 02:40:22 PM
Thanks for adding comments - I do love to read the background to these shots
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/04/2009 02:12:19 PM
Amaaaaazing capture! I would not have had the presence of mind to stop and take a photo lol. I think I might have been running hehe. Congrats on the ribbon!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/04/2009 01:43:59 PM
so are they mating or fighting? :P Amazing shot
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/04/2009 12:57:41 PM
You're on a roll, Ernie. This is such a fantastic shot. Congrats on your ribbon.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/04/2009 12:29:26 PM
wow. I like this one! Good shot!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/04/2009 12:23:47 PM
Another superb image,the slight blurring in the shot only helps to get the speed and power of these amazing animals.You are lucky to have such a great place to visit and see them close up,look forward to many more of your Wolf photos.Keep up the good work.

Message edited by author 2009-03-04 12:24:31.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/04/2009 08:52:23 AM
WOW - what a lucky situation you were in to get to see them in their natural environment. Fab shot. Congrats.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/04/2009 08:33:22 AM
Congrats on the well deserved ribbon. You're on a roll man!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/04/2009 08:21:19 AM
Congratulations on both wins! Wolves are a facinating and gorgeous animal - and not nearly the heartless creature they're usually made out to be. Awesome photos - Gotta love the wolves!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/04/2009 07:58:38 AM
Ernie,congrats on an amazing shot... 2 shots actually.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/04/2009 07:24:38 AM
OK so here's a winning formula...Ernie + wolves = red ribbon, and don't forget that in Canada red is the colour of first place! Way to go! :-)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/04/2009 06:57:47 AM
Excellent week Ernie. Keep it up :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/04/2009 05:59:46 AM
So glad you chose this photo Ernie. :)
Congrats on an awesome score, and your ribbon!! Very, very well deserved!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/04/2009 05:55:29 AM
Congrats Ernie for your second ribbon within a week :) Great stuff!!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/04/2009 05:20:34 AM
You're on a roll lately...congrats on the next ribbon, well deserved!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/04/2009 05:12:45 AM
Congrats on another ribbon Ernie ;)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/04/2009 04:28:03 AM
Congrats Ernie. I am happy for you. Go Snowmen!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/04/2009 04:23:36 AM
nicely done and congrats on the ribbon, makes me think 'call of the wild'
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/04/2009 03:46:06 AM
Congratz Ernie...that's one heck of an amazing shot.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/04/2009 03:34:47 AM
Congrats Ernie, very nice .Two ribbbons well done.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/04/2009 02:08:41 AM
Well done Ernie!Super week you have had!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/04/2009 02:06:38 AM
Congrats on the Red and thanks for the story.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/04/2009 01:55:27 AM
This is a fascinating shot - so intense and real. Awesome job shooting through glass. Thanks for the story! And of course, many congratulations on your ribbon.

  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/04/2009 12:53:10 AM
congrats on such an awesome action shot ... interesting all the stuff you wrote about the enclosure and how they've kept them as close to wild as they can be considering they're not actually in the open country and are fenced in .. shooting thru the glass you've done a brilliant job both with your photography and processing . :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/04/2009 12:46:03 AM
cool shot... even if it is a zoo shot. ;) Wolves are well-nigh impossible to shoot in the wild.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/04/2009 12:39:58 AM
Are you copying me with two ribbons in one week? hahahah.

I think we are going to be a good match. Im not scare still but I am scared of these wolves! Eeeeek.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/04/2009 12:29:00 AM
WTG Ernie !!!! Huge congrats and well deserved..
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/04/2009 12:24:35 AM
You are on FIRE dude! Congrats on another stunning entry and a second ribbon in a week! :)

Message edited by author 2009-03-04 00:25:28.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/04/2009 12:22:38 AM
Beautiful image!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/04/2009 12:12:22 AM
Congratulations on the ribbon!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/04/2009 12:11:24 AM
Nice shot, would have liked something in the comments
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/04/2009 12:11:17 AM
Way to go...two ribbons on one page! Congrats!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/04/2009 12:06:21 AM
NICE!!!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/04/2009 12:03:17 AM
Congrats ribbon man! Wow! Two of your pictures on the front page! Congrats!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
03/03/2009 04:43:30 PM
Looks very natural photo, like a real wild life one. 9.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/03/2009 01:30:30 PM
I hope the upper left don't take any points from you because it's OOF, kind of blurry. This image is one of the bests in the "meeting challenge" aspect and i really like the colors. Hope they were playing. Good luck!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/03/2009 07:53:51 AM
Ernie? Anyway, great photo and one of my favorites of the challenge. Good luck!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/02/2009 04:47:42 PM
wow..how did you get this shot?
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/02/2009 12:12:44 PM
Excellent shot!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/01/2009 06:06:14 PM
:O
......
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/28/2009 09:04:12 PM
fabulous shot.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/28/2009 07:09:11 PM
Composition and subject matter are great, really like it. A couple of things need improvement, imo: Color and the motion blur of the top dog. Not that motion blur in this case is bad, but I think it's a bit excessive here. Perhaps a tighter crop too.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/27/2009 07:51:24 PM
Nice Shot
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/27/2009 02:21:29 PM
WOW! Perfectly caught moment!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/26/2009 11:56:38 PM
Different, but this works. Its sharp, its action, the crop for me is great. Well done
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/25/2009 03:38:01 PM
Wow! Great action shot!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/25/2009 07:22:47 AM
WOW. This is simply great. 10 from me.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/25/2009 06:50:53 AM
Excellent action, pin-sharp where it needs to be. are they wild? how close were you to the action?
  Photographer found comment helpful.


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