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Sheep in Wolves Clothing?

A few shots from Wolf Haven International, in Tenino, WA.

This is a rehabilitation center, as well as permanent sanctuary for injured wolves and one of only a handful of locations where one can see Red Wolves, Mexican Gray Wolves, etc. They are part of a national breeding and reintroduction program. A really, Really neat place!

For anyone interested, especially those photobloggers here in western WA, Wolf Haven offers a 3 hour Photography Tour with the resident Professional Photographer (and it includes a continental breakfast!) Cost is $75 and proceeds benefit Wolf Haven International, as well as their photographer. They have an exclusive agreement with their photographer that only she is able to sell images of their wolves. I actually think that's a fantastic idea and a great way to protect the work of a photographer that's been a part of their team since 1998.

The photography tours require a minimum of 6 people, and a maximum of 10 people for the tour, and they close the facility to all other guests.

These images were taken while we toured the facility on their standard 1 hour long tour. You have to shoot through chain link fences, so lenses that have large apertures are helpful to mitigate the effects of the chain link. All of these shots are at ISO 800, with a 70-200mm 2.8 lens. A 300mm 2.8 (or longer!) would be IDEAL and should render the chain link almost non existent. I could have heavily cropped these, but since I HATE cropping …

Should anyone be interested, please let me know. I'd LOVE to spend a few hours shooting these beautiful animals, and even though I wouldn't be able to do anything with the images commercially, spending time with a ‘professional’ photographer, who has been shooting these wolves for 10+ years, should provide a good opportunity for learning and growth.

More information can be found at: http://www.wolfhaven.org/photoTour.php [wolfhaven.org]

Who's in?!

Mat

Red Wolf: This guy was an absolutely stunning animal! He was roaming around his enclosure, and I was very lucky to get this shot. He just stopped in this one area long enough to snap this shot. I think the Red Wolves were my favorite of the wolves I saw that day. Simply magnificent creatures.

Grey Wolf: The only way this would have been better is if its teeth were bared! I love this shot, and the look in the eyes of this fantastic animal is awesome. Too bad you can't see this shot full screen. Its gorgeous.

This Grey Wolf was ‘meat drunk’ according to the tour guide. Every couple of weeks, they feed these wolves like 20lbs of meat in a single feeding. It simulates life in the wild. After gorging themselves, they get so lethargic, they just lie there doing nothing! sounds like me after Thanksgiving! =)

Mexican Grey Wolf: Another gorgeous animal! You can see the effects of the chain link fencing above and below this wolf. Its not that noticeable, but its there. A longer lens would have helped mitigate this effect even further.

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    There are 28 comments, add yours!

    • # Christine

      What staring eyes on the first picture ! I bet you feel like a prey !
      Beautiful animals

      2009.11.08 Edited Reply Cancel

    • # Jon Laysell

      Fantastic shots, especially the first one it look like a staring competition - only your camera blinked and you've captured the wolf's image for ever.

      2008.12.06 Edited Reply Cancel

    • # Monika

      They are fascinating... would love to join... will you pay my flight ticket? :-)))

      2008.11.25 Edited Reply Cancel

    • # Jannie

      Wow! These are awesome! The first shot is absolutely stunning, the entire set is incredible. Sounds like an organization well worth supporting. I'd be there in a heartbeat if I lived closer. Great post Matt!

      2008.11.22 Edited Reply Cancel

    • # Lotofoto

      I WISH!!!
      These are great shots Mat.
      I can't believe they're at ISO 800!
      I just got a new (to me) Canon 40D and I'm not thrilled with the high ISO noise. Sigh...

      2008.11.14 Edited Reply Cancel

    • # Mary

      Beautiful photos--the eyes of #2 were really stirring for me. What a great opportunity to take photos and benefit a great program. Nicely done, Mat!

      2008.11.14 Edited Reply Cancel

    • # Marsha

      These are stunning - through your photos I have really learned to appreciate animals. Thanks so much for sharing. I would be interested in a photo trek,, but not wolves even behind the fence my photos would be a blur.
      I think you and Heidi should come to the midwest and take us on a tour.

      2008.11.14 Edited Reply Cancel

    • # Sherij

      WOW fantastic shots Mat. Looks like they tipped ( V marked ears)the ears in # 4 they do that to feral cats that have been captured once so they know not to catch them again. What a treat for you and for us to see these wonderful creatures WOW!!

      HIGH 5 to you for an AWESOME Wolf post!

      Yes Mat I am still shooting with my 400mm fixed lens I use it for every wild life shot. Shorter lens 300mm and smaller is for landscapes.

      2008.11.13 Edited Reply Cancel

    • # Tonya

      Until you pointed it out, I did not notice the fence! Wow-you are just too good! My fav is #2 with #1 a close second.

      2008.11.13 Edited Reply Cancel

    • # Jan

      ok i am!! count me in, uhh that is $75 including the flight??

      2008.11.13 Edited Reply Cancel

    • # Lynda

      Great shots of magnificent creatures. I went to a similar place in Canada a few years ago.

      2008.11.13 Edited Reply Cancel

    • # Mindy

      Great shots!!! I shot a picture of a red wolf in Cades Cove, tn.!!!
      Didn't turn out nearly as good as yours!!!! Great job!!!!!

      2008.11.13 Edited Reply Cancel

    • # Lissa

      These are amazing, Mat. If I lived in the area, I'd definitely be in.

      That first shot is absolute perfection. Into my faves it goes!

      2008.11.13 Edited Reply Cancel

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