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Story Behind the Photograph: The Dawn Howl
It is a sound that pierces your soul and echoes through your flesh; the landscape reverberating along with your bones long after the wolf lowers his head. The call of the wild; the way I know the howls will sound the same whether I am there to absorb them or not.
A coastal wolf who fishes for salmon, digs for clams, savours marine mammals, and lives by the falling tides; these wolves have a unique coastal culture. Families, or packs, of wolves indicate a healthy ecosystem and are as much a part of the temperate rainforest as the great groves of cedar trees. In Heiltsuk territory, on the west coast of North America, the dawn wolves howl to the arriving day.
Someone once said to me, “Never have I met a creature I respected more than the wolf. Never have I met a creature more worthy of a life lived unwitnessed.”
If I’m being honest; the more I learn about the wolf’s true nature, the more I want to respect their privacy. Though this may seem at odds with the art of wildlife photography at first glance, I think this paradox is necessary. To know when to lift and when to lower the lens. Some moments aren’t meant to be made into photographs. Sometimes nature gives permission, almost asks, for her astounding beauty to be documented. The discernment to tell the difference is something one acutely develops in the unfolding moments themselves, and in deep reflection afterward.
There is a presence about a wolf that makes one realize a rare glimpse is a gift. I feel the far off howls of the dawn wolves inside my chest to this day, and that, too, is a gift.
About Untamed Photographer
Untamed Photographer is an online art gallery that brings together wildlife photography and stories from a range of international environmental artists, both emerging and established.
Structured as an online marketplace, Untamed Photographer offers a selection of handpicked, limited-edition works of art, alongside the photographers’ compelling stories of what occurred in the wild to get the shot. The exclusive limited-edition pieces are printed in Miami and come with an artist-signed certificate of authenticity from their respective worldwide locations.
The Nature Trust of the Americas (NTOTA) was founded with the mission to give back. While building awareness for NTOTA’s causes, the founders met talented nature photographers who are passionate not only about photography, but also about saving the planet. Their life’s work and stories are inspiring, and their art, passion and stories deserve to be shared on a platform that benefits the environmental causes they are dedicated to.
Just as the photographers preserve the beauty of the planet in their art, Untamed Photographer is dedicated to preserving the planet for the future. All profits from photographs go to Untamed Photographer's two pillars: the artists and causes that protect the environment, ecosystems, and wildlife.
About the Photographer: April Bencze
April Bencze engages in wildlife conservation work through visual storytelling, writing, and collaborative projects that center the dynamic relationships between people, wildlife, and place.
She is dedicated to the coastal ecosystems and communities that she lives within and is supported by; April was raised in Wei Wai Kum First Nation territory (Campbell River) and now lives in Ḵwiḵwa̱sut'inux̱w Ha̱xwa'mis First Nation territory (Gilford Island).
April works as a creekwalker, monitoring salmon populations and habitat with a local non-profit. As a result, salmon are a focus of April's work and life.
April is a lover of plants, the interconnectedness of all things, and the woods.
About the Creator
Ḵwiḵwa̱sut'inux̱w Ha̱xwa'mis First Nation territory (Gilford Island, BC, Canada). Creekwalker. Writer. A lover of plants, rivers, the interconnectedness of all things, and the woods.