Coyote at Dawn


Canis Latrans | Prarie wolf | American Jackal

I was walking around my neighborhood arroyo at 8AM to enjoy freshly fallen snow. My path was parallel to the concrete half-pipe that gently directs flood waters into a reservoir. On the same path, but several hundred feet away and further downhill, I observed what I thought was an unleashed dog. The animal saw me, too. And it probably smelled me, too.

It ran out of direct view by leaping perpendicular to the lower drainage path. So silent and fleet was the animal that its sudden reappearance merely a pace away was unexpected. It ran by as silent as falling snow falling. I recognized it as coyote by the upright pointed ears and downward pointing tail.

Without time to adjust my camera settings for the unexpected action, I made this shot, which resulted in a pleasant motion blur.  I’ve talked about motion blur in previous posts. Take a refresher here. I fall into the camp of enjoying a little bit of blur, if it conveys directional action, or if it evokes a mood or tone, and or interactivity on the part of the viewer. In fact, doesn’t all effective imagework require the viewer to interact with the image?

I’m not a wildlife photographer. I don’t think that should stop me from trying to photograph animals I encounter in the “wild” even if that happens to be in a suburban neighborhood, a national park, or an open space.



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