wild white wolf howling in Nunavut in arctic Canada

How to photograph an arctic wolf

Several people have asked me how I got this picture of a wild wolf howling in the arctic. I have shared the recipe below for anybody who is interested.

(Note: this story was published in Canoe Roots magazine).

Recipe for a wolf photograph

Preparation time: 4 months
Preheat:  until ice melts in Nunavut.
Bake: 7 weeks on the tundra
Serves: 1  (forever)

Though not complicated, this recipe is time consuming, requires risk and contains ingredients you likely do not have at home. But do not be discouraged – the results are fulfilling.

Step 1:

Prepare to lose job – set aside
Ring hands nervously for 3 weeks
Once raw, ask boss for 2.5 months off work

Once complete, combine:

Late nights and approximately 100 lbs of food dehydration.
Beat in sufficient hours of route, logistics and equipment planning (this will take longer than you think – plan accordingly).
1 ounce anxiety.
One large cheque to cover costs.

Step 2:

Add a river of clean, unfiltered cold water (stirring continuously with wooden paddle).
Stuff 16 foot canoe (preferably red) with all dried ingredients, camera gear and camping equipment

Mix in:
2 helpings solitude
1.3 million square km wilderness
1 healthy dollop humility
1 Tbsp laughter (Jovial brand is preferable to Maniacal)

Sprinkle with birdsong and keep warm

In a large pot:
Whisk 1 large serving of bug bites until thick (include scabs)
Add one canoeist, mix thoroughly and combine with mixture above

Stir in:

15 meals bannock
6 days upstream travel
8 days portaging (or until feet tender)
2 scoops rapids
1 tsp grated nerves
A dash of fear
Juice from one blister
1 extra helping freedom
2 doses exhilaration

Slather with sun screen and liberal amounts of bug dope. Place in equal parts sun, wind and rain (snow is not a reasonable substitute). Garnish with 1 canoeist rolled in a meadow of tundra flowers.

Let set in the arctic for 7 weeks  and voila!

Note: Applies equally well for photographs of barren-ground grizzlies, caribou, muskoxen etc, but results may vary.








7 thoughts on “How to photograph an arctic wolf”

  1. Love!

    You can cook for me anytime. And I know of a couple of wild furry creatures that long to be photographed while I’m in Vancouver for a couple of weeks starting April 29…

  2. Tim,
    This is brilliant, and the photo is great too. I think this should be published in an outdoor magazine. It’s very clever and a unique way to describe your epic trip. Submit it to Nat Geo!

  3. Kitchen Emergency!

    I’ve run out of scabs and blister juice – where can I get these key ingredients in Ottawa?

    Please advise.

  4. This is one of the most beautiful pictures I’ve ever seen. Where can I find the full res version of it please?

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