View 423: Hockey in Portrait

My hockey photography clients in today’s Internet world want Landscape oriented photos but I still feel most sports could still use some Portrait ones like this.

Hockey in Portrait

Syracuse Crunch Cal Foote (25) looking to make a play against the Rochester Americans in American Hockey League (AHL) action at the Upstate Medical University Arena in Syracuse, New York on Saturday, January 25, 2020. Rochester won 3-2. Nikon D500/70-200VR, 1/1600s, f/4, ISO 2800, EV +1.3, 200mm Focal Length, Cropped.

If anything, it would make a good magazine cover. Yeah, I know, not many of those left either.

 

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View 422: X-Wing at Galaxy’s Edge

As a Star Wars fan from way back when the first movie premiered back in 1977, I could not wait to visit Walt Disney World last year after Galaxy’s Edge, the newest addition to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, opened. The area is very immersive with characters and cast members making the place seem like a real planet in the Star Wars Universe.

X-Wing at Galaxy's Edge

An X-Wing fighter at night in Black Spire Outpost on Batuu inside Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida. Nikon D750/24-120VR, 15s, f/8, ISO 100, EV 0, 35mm Focal Length, Tripod.

This photo of a powering up X-Wing fighter is an example of the kind of detail and excitement you will find when visiting.

If you are interested in more information or to book a Walt Disney World vacation, contact my wife at merrie@dreamsunlimitedtravel.com 

(just click her email address above)

She has been booking and planning Disney trips for satisfied travelers exclusively for over 20 years.

 

 

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Wolf Mountain Nature Center Photography Session Review

I attended a photography session at The Wolf Mountain Nature Center in Smyrna, New York on a beautiful Autumn day in October of 2019. This was my first visit and I was impressed with the non-profit organization whose purpose is to educate the public about wolves, foxes and coyotes. Getting no federal or state funding, paid events, including their photography sessions, help to support the nature center.

The photography session starts out with an informative audio-visual presentation on the history and ecology of the wolf in North America which includes bios on each of the wolves at the nature center. This lasts for about twenty minutes followed by a short questions and answer session outlining how they prepare the wolf enclosure before leaving for the photography platform. Each photography session is limited to ten photographers to allow an uncrowded and fun time for all.

The photography platform is high enough to look over the enclosure fencing to give clear views of the wolves when they are released into the enclosure. Earlier during the presentation, the wolves were taken into pens while food items were hidden in locations close to the platform. This gives the wolves a stimulating activity and keeps them within view of the platform.

I used a Nikon D750 camera with a Nikon AF-S 80-400mm VRII lens at the platform which gave me a lot of reach and very useable images with some cropping.

Wolf at The Wolf Mountain Nature Center

A gray Timber Wolf (Canis lupus) at the Wolf Mountain Nature Center in Smyrna, New York on Saturday, October 26, 2019. Nikon D750/80-400VR, 1/320s, f/5.6, ISO 2200, EV +0.3, 280mm Focal Length.

The platform is high and you are shooting downward at the wolves especially when they come in close. Keep ready as sometimes they look up at you.

Kitan at The Wolf Mountain Nature Center

Kitan, a Timber Wolf (Canis lupus), looks up at the Wolf Mountain Nature Center in Smyrna, New York on Saturday, October 26, 2019. Nikon D750/80-400VR, 1/320s, f/5.6, ISO 6400, EV +0.3, 370mm Focal Length.

The large enclosure does have an upward slope to one side of the platform. One of the other photographers pointed out to me the wolves sometimes go up and down it. That is where I photographed this wolf loping towards me about even with the platform’s height.

Wolf Loping at The Wolf Mountain Nature Center

Timber Wolf (Canis lupus)) loping through autumn woods at the Wolf Mountain Nature Center in Smyrna, New York on Saturday, October 26, 2019. Nikon D750/80-400VR, 1/320s, f/5.6, ISO 800, EV +0.3, 400mm Focal Length, Cropped.

After about an hour, the wolves get a bit lazy after finding all the food and the session on the platform is over. It goes by fast and all of us photographers were buzzing about our experience.

The day is not over as a tour of the other animals at the nature center of Arctic Foxes and Eastern Coyotes completes the session. As the rest of the animals are behind fencing, I got as close to the fence as possible to focus out as much of it as I could. I used added contrast and dehazing in processing to remove any remnants in the images.

Eastern Coyote at The Wolf Mountain Nature Center

Eastern Coyote (Canis latrans) at the Wolf Mountain Nature Center in Smyrna, New York on Saturday, October 26, 2019. Nikon D750/80-400VR, 1/400s, f/8, ISO 640, EV +0.3, 400mm Focal Length, Cropped.

I meet other wolves like Tala, a white Arctic Wolf, you see below who normally stays away from people visiting but got curious when her companion kept playing hide and seek with some of the photographers. She appeared through the autumn brush which made for a wonderful contrast to her coat.

Tala at The Wolf Mountain Nature Center

A white Arctic Wolf (Canis lupus arctos) named Tala walks out of the autumn brush in her enclosure at the Wolf Mountain Nature Center in Smyrna, New York on Saturday, October 26, 2019. Nikon D750/70-200VR, 1/1000s, f/4.5, ISO 100, EV +0.3, 200mm Focal Length.

The cost of a wolf photography session is $75. For 2020, they have four sessions in early February, March, September and October and, as of this date, all have openings for photographers (use link above for details).

Gray Wolf at Wolf Mountain Nature Center

Gray Timber Wolf (Canis lupus) at the Wolf Mountain Nature Center in Smyrna, New York on Saturday, October 26, 2019. Nikon D750/70-200VR, 1/500s, f/3.2, ISO 100, 200mm Focal Length.

The Wolf Mountain Nature Center is located near the village of Smyrna, New York about an hour’s drive from Syracuse in Chenango County. There is a gift shop with proceeds going back to the center for the care and feeding of their animals. I would bring a snack to eat after your photography adventure or stop by for a visit.

The session is very exciting and a wonderful opportunity to be with these magnificent creatures up close enough to photograph. I highly recommend it.

 

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View 421: Gray Wolf

This handsome Gray Wolf (Canis lupus) was photographed at The Wolf Mountain Nature Center in in Smyrna, New York last Fall.

Gray Wolf at Wolf Mountain Nature Center

Gray Timber Wolf (Canis lupus) at the Wolf Mountain Nature Center in Smyrna, New York on Saturday, October 26, 2019. Nikon D750/70-200VR, 1/500s, f/3.2, ISO 100, 200mm Focal Length.

I will be sharing a full review of my time with the wolves and other canids at the nature center on Wednesday.

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View 420: Women’s Rights National Historical Park

Last summer, my daughter, who minored in Woman’s Studios in college, wanted to visit the Women’s Rights National Historical Park in Seneca Falls, New York. I enjoyed her enjoying the exhibits and sharing her knowledge of the past and current heroines of the Women’s Movements throughout history.

Women's Rights National Historical Park

Young woman enjoying her visit to the Women’s Rights National Historical Park in Seneca Falls, New York. Nikon D750/24-120VR, 1/40s, f/8, ISO 6400, EV 0, 98mm Focal Length, Cropped.

For more information, you may wish to visit my past article about the First Women’s Rights Convention in Seneca Falls back in 1848.

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