Saturday, 30 April 2011

Who's Afraid of "Losing" The Big Bad Wolf

I wanted to take this opportunity to tell you why Michael and I established It was born of a love of wolf photography pure and simple. As anyone who has had the pleasure of observing a wolf pack can attest there is just some mystical magical thing that draws you to them the moment your eyes connect. That is exactly what happened to me the winter of 2010 when Michael introduced me to the Arctic Wolf pack and Timber Wolf pack that he had been photographing for years.
As any wildlife photographer will attest the secret to getting great shots of any species is through a thorough understanding of the behaviors of your subject. This allows you to plan your outings according to the seasons and anticipate those moments that will make for a great photograph before they occur. During my research of the wolf I was deeply disappointed to learn that the future of wolves in many parts of the world, Canada included, looked rather bleak. That brings us to the real reason came to life. Up to this point Michael and I had quietly shared a few wolf pictures by email with our friends and posted a few to various sites for general viewing.
That's all changed for us now as we have come to realize we have a tremendous opportunity to use our wolf pics as a means to aiding the conservation efforts of the wolf. I think most would agree there is no greater tragedy in the world then when a species is put in danger at the hands of man and that goes for cute and cuddly seals all the way to top predators like cougars, bears and wolves.
Now just to be clear Michael and I are not hard core activists, far from it, we're just a couple of wildlife photographers who happen to love to photograph wolves. We also share a common belief that it would be catastrophic if in our lifetime the wolf found itself on the brink of extinction and we hadn't done our part to do something about it.
As you are all aware with any cause there are always two extreme camps and one somewhere in the middle that is unaware of the issues. Over the weeks that follow I will be bringing some of those issues to light through this blog and be asking for your aid in our effort to help conserve sustainable wolf populations for future generations to enjoy.
Michael and I will be donating a portion of the proceeds from all sales made through to an organization or charity that supports those conservation efforts. As we have just launched the site these are exciting times for our followers as we really do want and need the help of anyone and everyone who wishes to join the cause.
Call to Action: Michael and I are in the process of determining what organization or charity to support thus we would really appreciate your feedback if you're aware of any standouts as it relates to wolf conservation.
Until next week keep those emails and blog posts coming we'd love to hear your thoughts.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Wolves Only Brand New Blog Site

Hello and welcome to Wolves Only brand new blog site. Wolves Only is a partnership between wildlife photographer Bill Maynard and myself Michael Cummings. I met Bill quite by accident one day during the winter of 2008-2009. I was driving in a neighbourhood that was known for some excellent bird life. As I was leaving the area I saw a fellow photographer off to the side of a main road taking photographs of a Red Tailed Hawk flying in a field. Being the person I am I just had to stop and talk to this fellow. After talking shop for a period of time Bill asked if I wanted to go out looking for the Great Gray Owls that were reported to be outside of Ottawa that winter. I had been looking for them for a week or so, but Bill seemed to have better information about their present location. So off we went and while we were looking on the area Bill said they had been seen a motorist stopped and asked what we were looking for, we said the Gray Owls. He said they were about 200 feet just over the small hill further up the road we were on. So up we went and there it was the most amazing Owl I had ever seen. The photograph on the right is one of the shots I took that evening. I was absolutely amazed how calm and regal this huge owl was. Doing some research and talking to birders who have knowledge of these birds say that they do not fear humans because they do not see very many people where they normally live up north.

So how does this relate to Wolves Only. Well Bill and I have now been getting together to get some photography outings when time permits both of us and we can match our schedules. One of our favourite photographic subjects are wolves. While wolves and dogs share some common characteristics they are not the same animal. When you come into the presence of either an Arctic Wolf or a Timber Wolf you know you are not seeing just a dog. There is an aura of majesty about them that is just not found in the domestic dog. There is a sense of an old soul when your eyes meet for even the briefest moment in time. 

Bill and I created this blog and our website to share with you our love of these animals. We have tried to capture their essence and being in our photographs. In this blog we will bring you information about wolves from fact to fiction, information on our photographic tours we will be offering starting in the near future and information on how and where to purchase wolf prints and other wolf merchandise we sell through our website.

Please check back regularly for new blog entries.
Thank you. 
Michael Cummings