HOW TO PHOTOGRAPH WOLVES
I know exactly how to photograph wolves. It is extremely difficult to catch them by a camera. I am not currently thinking of the wolves from Bavarian Forest or of the most well known photograph from the last time, where the wolf jumps over a closed wooden gate. However that would certainly be a fantastic picture (which technically really is), if it was really a wild animal as the author Jose Luis Rodriguez originally claimed. For those, who do not know anything about history of the above mentioned photograph I can only say that this shot won a prize of BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year. After the jury found out, that it was not an animal living in the wild, Rodriguez had to return the prize with a great shame and scandal. You can see more at: http://www.suomenluonto.fi/…-allegations
Now I’m thinking of real wild wolves. On wolves, which are (despite the continuing superstitions about their bloodlust) very shy animals.
To be able to make good photographs of wolves in their natural environment; it is always a matter of really great luck and coincidence. The author of the television documentary of National Geographic „Wolves by the door“ Jim Dutcher describes in his same title book an effort to record at least several shots of real wild wolves. Whole document was based on the pack of half domestic animals placed in a big coop in the forests of Idaho. That is the reason, why the crew wanted to enrich the document of at least few shots of wild wolves from the Alaskan Denali. The greatest success finally was, that the crew had an opportunity to get closer to two wild wolves, which were approximately one hundred meters away not far from the main road. So it is obvious, that wolves are also in the areas, where they normally live, extremely difficult to find.
I was lucky, that I could photograph these amazing animals in Alaska for two times. At first in 2007, when me and Rosťa Stach, Láďa Vogeltanz and Miro Zumrik met accidentally the wolves also in already mentioned Denali National park by the main road as well. The animals did not give us much time; they were constantly moving and unfortunately were showing us mainly their backs. Despite these facts we managed to make few photographs, which are certainly much more valuable than any better pictures from captivity.
Second time I had a possibility to photograph wild wolf was during last year Photo Safari in Alaska. This time it was not in Denali National park, but in Katmai National park, where our group arrived to photograph the grizzly bears. At the season we had came to the park (July and August) there are tens of grizzly bears gathering by the Brooks river because of hunting the salmons, which are migrating through the area at that period of time. When we had already arrived to the camp, our local ranger informed us about a wolf, which was moving around and close to the river for several days. Certainly all of us wished to at least glimpse this beautiful canine and we knew that any kind of photograph of this animal would only be an extra bonus.
Sometimes dreams come true and so the second day our whole group of photographers could already boast by pictures of wild wolf. We were lucky, that the pictures had not been taken from far distance or pictures, where the wolf only stands without any action. „Our“ wolf came to fish in the river and so we were able to make photographs as cut out of the Ezop fables – wolf with a bear on the salmon hunt.