Veolia Wildlife Photo 2009

Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2009

The storybook wolf
When José Luis realized he had got the shot of his dreams – one that he had even sketched on paper – he couldn’t quite believe it. From
the start, his fear had been that the wolves would be too wary. Iberian wolves have always been persecuted by people who see them as
a threat to game and livestock (which they hunt when natural food is scarce) but also because of ignorance and superstition about the
supposed danger they pose. Even though they have always lived close to humans, there are no verified incidences of them attacking
people. In Spain, the population of Iberian wolves – a subspecies of the grey wolf – is thought to number 1000-2000 in the north, with a few
tiny, isolated populations in the south. José Luis risked a slow shutter-speed to reveal the moonlit sky and conjure up the atmosphere of the place. He switched from using his Nikon D2X to a Hasselblad so he could get the exact framing that he had in mind. What José Luis hopes is that his picture, ‘showing the wolf’s great agility and strength’, will become an image that can be used to show just how beautiful the Iberian wolf is and how the Spanish can be proud to have such an emblematic animal. Hasselblad 503CW with a 6×6 Fujichrome backing + Planar 80mm lens; 1/30 sec at f11; ISO 50; purpose-made
Ficap infrared camera trap.

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