Extreme Yellowstone… Mousing Fox Pano

I was reading Outdoor Photographer on the plane as I flew to Bozeman the other day and George Lepp had a cool article on creating a pano from a sequence of continuous shots of a monkey running across a river. It got me to thinking how I could try something like that while in Yellowstone. There is plenty of wildlife to photograph and they often are on the move. So, I filed the thought in the back of my mind. Today while we were out searching for wildlife subjects we found a red fox mousing in the snow. We quickly jumped out of the snowcoach and set up as he moved off. I followed him for about fifty feet or so when he suddenly stopped, cocked his head a few times which told me he had heard something under the snow. Do I try to hurry up ahead and get in the best position risking missing the action or set my camera down now and get the shot even though the fox wasn’t in the exact position I wanted. I opted for at least getting the shot as I don’t have any mousing foxes in winter in my files. Within a few seconds his body tensed and into the air he went diving head first into the snow. I had made the right decision. At least I have the images. I broke the jinx and I will continue to capture the image I have in my minds eye but in the meantime, I decided this sequence would make a fun pano…

Nikon D3S, AF-S 500mm f4 VR, TC-20E III

I didn’t quite follow George’s exact process but, I think it turned out pretty cool. It’s not bad for a first attempt and it definitely gave me some ideas on how to improve next time. Isn’t that what photography is all about; constantly working to improve our techniques and skills as well as stretching our creative wings. I’m looking forward to working this technique again. Stay tuned.