MOAR pixels + Curves layer for some contrast + Name change as the 'Friend' claim is a bit generous for a single meeting
SERIOUSLY...PLEASE FULL VIEW. I posted 1200 px tall for all yas - This thing and the Canon 400 5.6L in general are SHARP and should be enjoyed at full resolution.
A bit of a story behind this one. I sort of followed this fox, from a distance. I crouch-walked down a big hill left over from a landslide years ago, just enough to keep it in sight. For a second I had the illusion that I was being sneaky, but a fox can hear a friggen pin drop from a mile away so it knew I was there the whole time. The fox crossed on front of me, below, and I just walked to the bottom and then spotted it sitting on its haunches staring at the ground...All kinda..sad-like. Really, it was hunting a rodent beneath the snow.
I sat nearby and just watched. When it was finished (after a 5 or so foot leap into the air to pounce...)...It walked down the hill in my direction. Taking a hint from NG photographer Klaus Nigge, I spoke to it in a quiet voice to make it fully aware of my presence, so I didn't spook the animal too much.
When it noticed me, the fox seemed very curious. It kept cocking its head to the side, seemingly wondering what I was about. I kept on speaking to , and it kept coming closer to me. It got pretty close... less than 10 meters.
From my standpoint we had a really stimulating exchange. It meant something to me, and I'm happy it felt comfortable or curious enough to approach me so closely and grace me with these photos. One thing I didn't notice while I was photographing it -the hair on this fox's lower back is gone - I figure that is just a loss of its winter coat but I'm interested if anyone can tell me anything different that may have caused that.