Close Encounter

After a successful wild dog hunt, the dogs settled down for a bit of play and a rest. At that point, my guide and I exited the vehicle in order to gain a different perspective of the dogs. Most of the dogs kept quite a distance from us, but this one was a bit less concerned about our presence and stopped by for a look. I took this with a short telephoto at 24mm to get the subjects in the frame and to show the environment as well. Nikon D 750 and 24-120 lens at 1/500, f/6.3 and ISO 2000 and cropped to about 2/3 of the original.

What technical feedback would you like if any?

What artistic feedback would you like if any?

I liked it because it showed a small interaction between man and wildlife and it also gave a view of the southern Kalahari. Do you agree?

Any pertinent technical details:

Totally agree Richard! A terrific story here - would make for perfect inclusion in some travel or wildlife magazine!

The light hitting the background hills looks beautiful - hopefully you got some landscape photos in!

Yes, I agree. Good catch of the interaction, and with lovely light on the environment to boot. I like seeing this nice, wide image of the terrain, which is often rare in wildlife images. I like how it shows the height of the grasses, too.

Wonderful Richard! I’ve long been fascinated with wild dogs, and this amply portrays them in a new perspective.

If I was to critique one thing, it would be with an aim toward emphasizing the dog even more. I’d keep the original ratio and crop the right to bring the thorn tree close to the edge, and a corresponding amount from the top or bottom. I’m torn whether top or bottom would be best, but with a crop to the tree the three “subjects” form a near diagonal line and make the dog pop even more.

I like the stare-down between dog and photographer and the low POV, Richard. It is interesting that wild dogs are the most successful of the African predatory mammals.

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Well, yes and no. It is true that they are extremely successful hunters, and they almost never fail. However, each pack of wild dogs requires a large territory, with the result that their numbers have declined significantly due to the loss of suitable habitat. Also, when there are only two or three packs in a specific reserve, inbreeding starts to become a problem. I believe there are only about 3000 African Wild Dogs surviving.

This is great. I love the interaction between the tog and the dog in the natural setting. I liked Hank’s crop idea so I tried it and decided I like it better as presented. A very enjoyable image.