I’d like to sum up wolf week with some words about what it was like to do this shoot. Shooting outdoors means you are subject to the whims and sometimes cruelties of nature. Sun, no sun, clouds, no clouds and in the case of this day sun with few clouds and temps in the high 80’s with humidity levels in the same range. The air was thick! Our adventure began with a chat about the wolves from their handlers; their ages, temperaments, how to approach, don’t touch his tail, what to do if, etc. but there was never a time anyone was in any kind of danger from them other than as I mentioned before slobbering, shedding fur, and a head butt or two. After legalities were handled (waivers and releases) we set off into the woods of this huge park. All of us hiked into the woods with our equipment in various styles of back packs with a few hauling their cameras on tripods and monopods.
The humidity of the day in all of that “nature” meant several of us had fogged up glasses; all of us were quite a bit damp. The path was a natural one so that meant mud and lots of it from the prior days rains. One group went into the woods with the male wolf for some shots while I and my group stayed on the path shooting images like the one posted yesterday. It was at that point that those in my group hear a loud OW followed shortly by several more cries of pain. We turned around just in time to see people and a wolf running out of the woods. They had stumbled upon a hornets nest and were the subjects of the pointy ends of things. Fortunately the injuries were only as serious as some temporary pain and plenty of red bumps.
Further down the road we came across a small creek where the wolves enjoyed jumping in and cooling off. While we did some slip sliding in the mud getting the right angle for our shots. We ended the shoot in a big open field which while it looked flat was filled with little dips and soggy spots which made for some interesting walking through the tall grass. By that time I think we were all pretty much spent and what with having to hike back from whence we came – we didn’t venture any further.
It was a wonderful shoot and they mentioned another might happen in the cooler or winter months. But regardless of the weather, there are things to take into consideration when doing a shoot like this or any outdoor shoot – like what gear to take and how will you carry it? You may be working far away from where you parked so plan ahead what you will take with you because you alone will be carrying it unless you happen to have someone to do that for you. Besides photo gear you may want to include water for yourself, sunscreen and insect repellant when it’s warm. And then there is what you should wear.
Because I knew I would be in the woods I wore my long cargo pants with socks and sturdy tennis shoes; I wish I had worn a hat too. When it’s cold you will need proper clothing to keep you and your hands warm. Don’t neglect to be aware of the weather and the temperature too for your gear. Will you need something to keep your gear warm or dry or both! Big Ziploc bags can be a lifesaver when things get damp.
And with that I leave you with a few “outtakes” from the shoot. Have a happy weekend everyone 🙂