North American Mink in Alaska

Back at the end of November, I was driving slowly down a back road near the mountains, right after a fresh snow. I had been looking for arctic hare tracks and only seen a few. It was late in the day and getting dark. A small creek ran through a culvert under the road. Most of the creek was frozen over, with only small open areas. I saw a small dark object upstream of the road and stopped my Jeep. At first, I couldn’t tell what it was. Of course, I had to dig to get out my camera with the telephoto lens on it. I left the vehicle running because I didn’t want to have a change in sound that might spook the animal. I rolled down my window and started taking pictures. The mink pawed at the ice in a few places, then turned and trotted back up stream.

I got out of the Jeep, and stepped back a few feet, but still in the road, and took pictures as the mink rolled around on the ice. Then the mink turned and came back down towards the road, which is when I got this image. The mink kept coming towards me, and disappeared below the bank, and I realized it had gone through the culvert. The trees were thicker on the lower side of the road, so I didn’t get any good photos on that side as the mink went on its way down the creek. What a neat encounter.

Specific Feedback Requested

Is the mink too dark?
Does the crop need to be tighter? I cropped it quite a bit from original, but I don’t know if the animal really shows up well enough.

Technical Details

Removed some noise, cropped and did some Shadow/Highlights in PS5, then resized and sharpened.

Canon 5d mk4, 100-400 L lens +1.4, at 450 mm ISO 2500, 1/500 sec at f8

1 Like

Hi Genny,
Sorry this one fell through the cracks. It’s been a madhouse around here at NPN lately!

Oh how I am envious of your catch here. I’ve often seen mink while out here in Wisconsin, but never was ready to get a photo. Twice they’ve run literally under my butt while I was sitting on my dock steps so I know they’re not super shy. Just never the right place at the right time. Unlike you!

I think it might be cropped tighter and I’d definitely open some shadows across the board and then maybe you could open up the eyes and a bit of the face, too. It won’t look right if you raise them too much since mink are such dark little critters. I love the bits of snow and ice in the air!

If you do make changes and have a second edit, you can add that to your original post by clicking the pencil (edit) icon. This allows us to compare both photos in the viewer one after the other. You can also edit the title with something like + 1 Rework or similar to alert the group that you have done it.