Fox In Snow - Yellowstone NP, WY
File #: 1802182
Nikon D500, 500mm f/4e AF-S, ISO 400, f/5.6, I/2000sec, RRS TC-34L with RRS gimbal head.
Shooting wildlife can be a completely hit-or-miss kind of thing. Even though you're on the best place on the planet for photographing animals, more often than we believe, things do not work out and the day isn't very productive. It can be a frustrating experience, especially if you're leading clients spending large money for the express purpose of being productive. Then again, the stars align, the angels sing, and Mother Nature smiles on you, you're productive well beyond your wildest dreams. That's the situation with this image--Productive beyond my wildest dreams.
As we normally do, we were trolling along the roads in the interior of Yellowstone National Park when one of us spotted this red fox sleeping on top of the snow hundreds of yards in the distance. When I spied him, I thought, "wow, he's way out there." I dutifully got out my gear with everyone else and pointed towards are subject. Yup, tiny red dot in the field of view. For some reason, we waited.
About 30 minutes later, the guy gets up and starts mousing, sniffing this way then that, generally moving in our direction but still way out there.
Slowly, it wandered around beyond undulations in the terrain. We'd lose sight. of him wondering if the show stopped before it started. Then, it's cranium would pop over the slope, still mousing around. After another 15 to 30 minutes, he was within shooting range, as we were able to get more than simple "environmental" shots. But, real frame filling images of him sniffing around for something to eat.
Then, right in front of us at the perfect range, in perfect light, with a perfect background, he found something. We fired away at leap after leap. Every dive into the sleep snow was recorded. We shot so many images because so much action was going on right in front of us. It was perfect.
About 2 hours after we first spied this subject, it all stopped when he moved across the road, not far from us, and kept the search on in another set of trees.
I'm still amazed to think how this turned out. Starting from a very long distance with no indication of what was to come, to likely my most fruitful red-fox session ever. Truly amazing.