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Friday, December 31, 2010

Favorite Photo of 2010 by Chad Griggs


Nikon D90, Nikkor 500mm f/4 AFS + TC-14E II @ 700mm, ISO 1600, f/5.6, 1/800

Derek challenged me to pick a single favorite image from 2010. I knew choosing just a single image would difficult, but I was surprised just how difficult it was. This a wild wolf in Yellowstone, taken in September 2010.

This photograph isn't nearly my best photograph technically speaking. I had to run my ISO all the way up to 1600. It was one of the first times I used the TC-14 and I now know that stopping down to f/8 would have made for a significant improvement. Despite all of this, I still choose it, why?

Wolves have been a fascination of mine since I was a young kid. In fact, wolves are the primary reason I got into wildlife photography. Even though Minnesota has one of the largest populations of wolves in the continental US, I've never photographed them in the wild. Wild wolves are very shy and generally keep a healthy distance from people. So being able to photograph a wild wolf was an amazing opportunity for me.

The other part of this was the amazing experience. We spent many hours sitting on the side of the road near an elk kill from the previous night. Coyotes, eagles, ravens and other birds came and left over that period of time. In the distance we could see a pair of wolves who already had their fill for the day. We could only hope they would come back for a second helping. As the light began to run out, a single black wolf approached! It was one of the most exciting experiences of my life.

For more information about our wolf encounter, see and earlier post titles, "Wolves in Lamar Valley."