Long Live the Painted Wolf!

The Wild Dogs of Africa

What an incredible species! It was so fun to track them across Botswana and finally catch up with them in Salinda.

Look, I sound like I know what I’m talking about, doesn’t it? I really don’t. Well, a little bit thanks to my friend Neville Jones who was my gallant trailfinder on this African adventure. He’s quite the African Explorer. He’s been to Botswana 7 times and never seen the Wild Dog before, so I can tell this is Kind Of A Big Deal.

We were staying at the Great Plains in Salinda — wow what a place! This fits perfectly into my wheelhouse because my idea of “roughing it” is slow room service. This amazing place is owned by Dereck & Beverly Joubert, who are now friends after our elongated stay! We had a wonderful dinner where they grilled me on social media! Haha… I had to think fast! I don’t remember what sort of advice I gave them, but it was just the beginning since I have a feeling I will work with them again… maybe on their great White Rhino conservation project.

Well this article is about the also Quite Endangered Wild Dogs, also known as the Painted Wolf. I like Painted Wolf better, don’t you? That’s a straight translation from the Latin Lycaon Pictus; another name that I also like is the Painted Ornate. It sounds like a Magic: The Gathering rare card doesn’t it? Awesome.

Botswana Amaze (310 of 2505)-6

They lie on the ground getting ready for something. These two are alert and smelling a wildness. They are watching something I don’t see.

 

Botswana Amaze (307 of 2505)-7

Holy fuck.

 

What Neville (and most people) find most fascinating about the Painted Wolf is their social structure. They live and hunt fiercely in packs. There’s a dominant male and female. They mate but the whole pack takes care of the young. They nestle the very young inside underground burrows that were made by warthogs or ardwolves (I didn’t think that was a real animal either — I feel like I should not have stayed home sick so much during kindergarten where normal kids Learn Their Animals).

The pack that we saw had eight members, and you could see how social and playful they are. There is also a wildness there. Sometimes, one would get close to me. I saw a regular, wonderful dog there… but sometimes you’d get a glimpse of a crazy-eyed-killer. There was something else feral and inter-dimensional going on in there…

Botswana Amaze (328 of 2505)-5

Here’s what they see across the way. It’s a warthog. At first I thought it was just a warthog head, placed there as some sort of a tribal effigy to warn other warthogs from coming into this den of wild dogs. But it was alive. It was just cold-chillin’ up there. Warthog don’t care. He’s inside an ardwolf mound. Yes, an ardwolf is a real animal.

 

One interesting thing (among MANY) about the Painted Wolves is how intimate they are with loving one another after waking up. They lick and nuzzle each other, a canine bacchanalia. At some point, the Alpha Male decides it’s time to hunt. Most of the pack takes off at 50km/h through the bush. They spread out like ebola and take down prey as they converge, as if they are a US Navy Seal team controlled via infrared by satellite. They quickly eat all they can and sprint back home before they can digest. The younglings chew on the bottom lip of the older dogs who regurgitate the viscera in a waterfall of ambrosial carnivorism.

I’m glad that the amazing Dereck & Beverly Joubert have done so much to influence the policies of Botswana to keep all these awesome animals wild. I felt like I was on a Star Trek away mission, watching an alien species that I didn’t even know existed for the trip. Thank you, Neville.

Botswana Mazy (238 of 1941)-12

These guys love to roll in the grass and play with their fellow painted wolves. Whenever they get up and become alert, they usually have a bit of grass here and there.

 

Botswana Mazy (168 of 1941)-13

Here’s the youngest pup we saw. He’d grab sticks and wander around the periphery, occasionally getting his stick stuck on other sticks.

 

Botswana Mazy (365 of 1941)-10

A wildness in there.

 

Botswana Amaze (389 of 2505)-3

Two of them stretch before going off for a possible 50km/h hunt.

 

Botswana Amaze (230 of 2505)-9

They would roll around in a semi-violent playfullness. See the painted wolf on the right? He was now heading off with the alphas. They went one at a time, in order of age. These two, the youngest, were last to follow.

 

Botswana Amaze (259 of 2505)-8

Downward wild dog.

 

Botswana Amaze (336 of 2505)-4

When he stared at me, there was no doubt that time stood still.

 

Botswana Mazy (302 of 1941)-11

Their coloring was so amazing. I see why they got the pretty name…

 

Botswana Amaze (400 of 2505)-2

Even while they walk together, they playfully attack one another.

 

Botswana Amaze (497 of 2505)-1

Their playfulness gets a bit wild and violent as they establish dominance in the pack.

 

Daily Photo – The Painted Wolf

What an awesome animal… I love the smile, I think, vaingloriously anthropomorphic.

The Painted Wolf

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-6000
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/1600
  • Aperture4
  • ISO400
  • Focal Length200.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Lindy

Fresh Newsletter coming within 24 Hours!

We have something supa-fresh and awesome coming… we only send out about one per month! Actually, we’ve been kind of lame, and it’s been 2 months, so a big train is comin’ down the tracks!


Daily Photo – Lindy

With the greatest of ease…

Lindy

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/2000
  • Aperture8
  • ISO2500
  • Focal Length13.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias+1

Cows under the snowy mountain

Taking Coffee to my Studio

A quick tour of my studio near my home in Queenstown, New Zealand. Sort of a quick and dirty video… nothing too exciting here… move along… :)

Daily Photo – Cows under the snowy mountain

We were over near the Greenstone trail near Glenorchy and there was a big cattle drive going on. I usually don't see this many cows in New Zealand! I'm used to a lot of sheep, but this is the most cattle I had ever seen together. It reminded me of Texas except for the massive snowy mountains behind them. It was kind of surreal and awesome for me!

Cows under the snowy mountain

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/2000
  • Aperture4
  • ISO800
  • Focal Length36.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Looking Down From the Bell Tower in Beijing

New Perspectives with Drones

I really like this top-down view that you get from drones. It’s so interesting to me… I follow a few other quadcopter photographers that do this also, and I’ve seen a few comment that it’s now “passé” — which I find to be ridiculous! I love looking at them and I think it will be a long time before I tire of it.

Daily Photo – Looking Down From the Bell Tower in Beijing

This is on the edge of one of the most famous buildings in Beijing. The building itself is great, naturally, but one of the best views is right here along this road. It’s where all the little covered bike-things line up to ferry people to and fro. I like how they are all a deep red and stand out against the greenness of the Beijing concrete.

Looking Down From the Bell Tower in Beijing

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraHero3-Black Edition
  • Camera MakeGoPro
  • Exposure Time1/250
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length2.8 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

Wild clouds in Bora Bora

Wide-Angle Tip

If you like these kinds of shots where everything seems to be pointing towards the middle, try a wide-angle lens! I first shot this a bit tighter. It was a cool shot, but then when I put on the wide-angle everything got so much more amazing! I even sometimes forget this effect, and it’s so fun to look through a wide-angle lens and see it happen!

Daily Photo – Wild clouds in Bora Bora

Just before I took this, I was hand-feeding a puffer fish! It was one of the strangest things I had ever done. First I picked up a sea urchin off the bottom and held it loosely in my hand. Then the puffer fish came over and started tearing into it! Puffer fish don't care! It was so awesome to watching him tear it apart. They have big and hard teeth, those guys… kind of freaky really. It's the first time I've ever done anything like that.

Anyway, after feeding the fish, I looked up through the water and saw these crazy clouds. I got out of the water, nabbed my camera, and shot away!

Wild clouds in Bora Bora

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/640
  • Aperture7.1
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Baby Snow Monkey

African Video Production

At our upcoming African Photo Adventure (thanks again everyone for helping it to sell out so quick – wow!), we’re going to have Bel and the video team out with us. We’ll be capturing everything for either one upcoming video or a series of videos. We haven’t figured it all out yet, but we will soon. I figure there will be a mix of new landscape lessons mixed with some animal/wildlife lessons. I’m starting to get pretty excited about it!

Daily Photo – Baby Snow Monkey

Near Nagano, Japan, is a special place where the snow monkeys frolic about in a hot pool. Entire monkey families come down here to play and frolic and bathe. This little guy was left alone pretty much the entire time because he had an older brother and sister that would be off playing in the deeper water. The parents were busy grooming one another… It was kind of sad, but it made for a nice photo, I suppose!

Baby Snow Monkey

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D3S
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/4000
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO800
  • Focal Length50.0 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Conjuring Thoughts Deep in the Desert Berber Camp

Another Book Suggestion

Below I make a reference to The Alchemist, but I recently discovered a new book that I can highly recommend that is vaguely along the same lines. It’s quite different, though! It’s called Journey to Ixlan by Carlos Castaneda

Daily Photo – Conjuring Thoughts Deep in the Desert Berber Camp

I’ve always wanted to sleep deep in the desert after riding a camel. I think this is because I love that book The Alchemist so much.

I was so tired when I took this photo because of a very long day in the Sahara. After arriving at the camp in late afternoon, I decided to climb a huge sand dune by myself. It looked so easy! It was not. Halfway up that son of a gun I was wondering why I did not take that camel!

Conjuring Thoughts Deep in the Desert Berber Camp

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time5
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO125
  • Focal Length15.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Give Sheep a Chance

We don’t all…

Here’s one of my favorite Farside cartoons about sheep!

Daily Photo – Give Sheep a Chance

We took a drive out past Glenorchy towards Paradise the other day. About 30% of the time, I come across a shepherd moving sheep from one farm to the next. They totally clog up the road and it is hilarious. I'll never get tired of seeing thousands of sheep all clogged up in the road like this. I'm sure the shepherds find it all quite banal, but I love it!

Give Sheep a Chance

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/800
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length14.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

The Willows and Scarlett

Getting kids to pose

If you have any great tips for getting recalcitrant kids to pose for photos, let me know. Most of the time, my kids are good to go… but sometimes I have to be a bit tricky… always looking for new tricks!

Daily Photo – The Willows and Scarlett

Here is my youngest girl, swinging free under the willow trees in front of our house in New Zealand. I love the colors of these things in the 3 living seasons of the year. They change quite a bit, and I thought they looked good with Scarlett's blonde hair. She never gives up a chance to model for me! :)

This was shot at F/1.4 btw. When you scroll over the photo, if you see no EXIF, chances are it was taken with my manual Leica lens!

The Willows and Scarlett

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/2000
  • Aperture
  • ISO640
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias+2

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