WolfPhotography.com FAQs

Thank you for your interest in my photography. If you have a question not covered here, please feel free to contact me. monty@wolfpark.org

Who is Monty Sloan?
Well, I’m the Staff Photographer at Wolf Park, a wolf educational and research facility located in Indiana. For more information about this facility please check out www.wolfpark.org.

What Kind of Equipment do I Use?
The 18MP Canon EOS 1D X digital camera really can’t be beat. Previous cameras included, but are not exclusive to, a Nikon F5 (my last film camera). Then there is my first DSLR – a Nikon D1x that I used from September 2001 to December 2002; then I got frustrated enough with Nikon to finally make the switch to Canon. In fairly quick succession from 2003 to 2012 I’ve owned a Canon EOS 1D, 1Ds, 1D Mark II, 1Ds Mark II, 1Ds Mark III and 1D Mark IV and finally the current camera, the Canon EOS 1D X — did I mention it’s really cool and fun to use? I purchased that one in July 2012.

The quality of images from these cameras rivals that of film! Actually, the current camera is more like shooting medium format than 35mm. To put things in perspective, the Nikon 1Dx, which was only 5.5MP, was about the same quality as 35mm print film. It produced spectacular prints up to 20×30 inches — you can just imagine what the latest Canon can do….

I also have a collection of lenses. There is a 8mm Sigma fisheye which takes really silly photos. There is a 100mm Canon macro lens which takes really close up photos. The 50mm f1.8 is good for low light, while the 16-35 is good for landscapes. These lenses are not used much…

The lenses I mostly use, as they are best for photographing wolves, are Canon’s 28-300 & 100-400m zooms. Other lenses, such as my 70-200mm f2.8, are nice for specific uses – such as for low light, or a really shallow depth of field. The 500mm f4 is great for long distance shots like those taken from Wolf Park’s blue bridge. With a 2x telextender, it’s great to photograph wild wolves in Yellowstone National Park.

Before I went digital in the fall of 2001, I used a Nikon F5 and before that a Nikon F4. Actually, I had a number of Nikon cameras dating back to the early 1980’s. I have some fond memories of my FM2. That was a really cool camera for its time. I had also dabbled with medium and some large format work. For wolves however, the large format camera would have been nothing more than an expensive chew toy so there are mostly still life and landscape photos from my old Sinar F and Mamaya cameras.

I have to admit that I was a bit reluctant at first to go digital — and I only did so with the expectation of taking photos to use as images on web sites, screen savers and the like. In waiting, technology caught up to the point where digital images rivaled, and now exceed, the quality you can achieve with 35mm film.

Are Digital Photos ‘Real’?
In nearly every case, the digital images posted on Wolfphotography.com are exactly what was seen through the lens. The only changes would be minor color corrections, perhaps some cropping and the equivalent of the ‘burning and dodging’ similar to what I did years ago in my black & white darkroom. However, one sometimes likes to play in Photoshop and combine several images together to create something totally new and sometimes a bit weird. Those images are under the category of Digital Creations and are usually explained in detail in the photo’s descriptive text.

Prints are made on photographic paper, as well as on high quality inkjet paper. I’ve used a number of labs around the country, but also am quite pleased with the 12 cartridge Canon Pro-1 printer. The ink’s have a life expectancy rated 100+ years (which is above that of standard color photos). Not only does this printer produce excellent color results, it produces phenomenal B&W prints.

Print Sizes, Print Surfaces & Other Print Stuff
The aspect ratio of 35mm film, as well as that of professional digital cameras is about 2:3 — which is a little bit longer than “standard” print sizes. In other words, a full frame image is not going to be 8×10 inches, but 8×12 inches. Full frame prints would be 4×6, 7½x11, 8×12, 12×18, 16×24, 20×30 & 24×36. 11×17 & 13×19 inch prints are close, and you really would not notice the tiny amount of cropping necessary in most photos. 5×7, 8×10, 11×14, “Legal” sized prints, etc. are all cropped a bit which can be a distinct advantage for some compositions.

When I mat prints, I try to cut mats of a standard size so you can easily find a frame for them. However, this is not always possible. To make things as easy as possible, here are the size mats I cut for various sized prints:

Matting Sizes

Photo Size Mat Size
4x6 inches
5x7 inches
5x7 inches
8x10 inches