Over the weekend, our family rode our bicycles to Old Town for lunch and a visit to the Fort Collins Museum of Art. As we rode home on the Spring Creek trail, we stopped to watch an American White Pelican fishing in a pond. Just after that, we saw some people clustered at the side of the trail. This isn’t the first time I noticed this, but this time I stopped to see what everyone was looking at. It was a group of four fox cubs sitting just outside their den. The den was very close to the trail, maybe ten feet. The cubs were just hanging out and watching the people taking their portraits with camera phones.

Two days later I went back. I brought with me my old Canon 7D, with my 100-300 zoom lens attached. There was only one cub this time, but he patiently watched as I shot fifty images or so. This one became my favorite image of the week.

Fox Cub

Canon 7D, Canon EF 100-300mm f/4.5-5.6 USM, f/5.6 at 1/1000, ISO 1600.

Digital Darkroom. Let me get this over with- the Canon, a much older camera, is not nearly as good at higher ISOs as my Fujifilm. In addition, the 100-300 zoom is a consumer-grade lens that is the least quality lens in my quiver. Finally, I had to crop this image significantly to fill the frame. The results looked great on Instagram, ok here, and clearly soft and muddled when printed. Time to start saving pennies for a higher-quality Fuji telephoto. In addition to the crop, I also cloned out a mousetrap in the lower right foreground. The trap was empty; the best guess is that Momma Fox found it with a mouse in it and brought it back for the cubs to eat. Other darkroom adjustments were to increase exposure by half of a stop, contrast, vibrance, and oh yes, sharpening. 

WIRR stands for Weekly Image Rich Ruh. This regular feature on Das Has von Ruh will show and describe my favorite photo created during this weekly period. My weeks start on Mondays, as does the WIRR. I’m hoping to include commentary on the story, the setting, the specs, or the sentiments, depending on the circumstances.