When I saw the subject of this week’s challenge, I thought of many photos but ended up choosing this one from a 2012 trip to Alaska. We had just landed and set up camp for a week with the Brown Bears in the Katmai. We took a short walk from our camp and watched as some of the bears grazed in the field. We eventually followed this bear as he made his way to the stream, plopped down, and immediately dozed off. He didn’t seem to mind at all that the 5 of us were nearby clicking away with our cameras – He was much too relaxed to care…
Two weeks ago I had a great experience “On the Way.” As I was leaving Yellowstone and beginning my journey back home to San Diego. I was driving through the Grand Teton National Park in the evening before a planned stopover in Jackson, Wyoming. I saw a couple of gravel/dirt roads that looked like they needed exploring so I took some time out from my transit to see if I could find some wildlife. At my first stop, I found some Marmots that I posted a photo of earlier this week. On a second dirt road, I went into the woods as far as I could before running into a large “pond” in the middle of the road. Not having a four wheel drive, I turned around and went back the way I came in. I wasn’t expecting to see anything as I had been on the road only 5 minutes before. As I came around a corner, I saw this nice surprise – A grizzly sow with cubs.
They were also “on their way” so I didn’t have long with them but I did get a few quick shots. Here is a view of the cubs as they were leaving – I love that the one cub kept looking back to see what I was doing. This “on the way” interlude made both of our journeys very memorable!
Its been a while since I’ve posted any bear photos. I’ve been thinking a lot about our bear trips lately as we’ve had to cancel for this year because our guide has been fighting a lengthy illness. We are already planning our trip for next year but I’m really missing our time with these incredible animals. With that in mind, I’ve been looking at some of the shots from last year and reprocessing some of them to improve the images. This was another that we took at Silver Salmon Creek in Alaska. This bear was the only persistant fisher while we were there but he wasn’t very skilled so we never did see him catch a salmon. That didn’t diminish the thrill and enjoyment of watching him charge after the fish while only a few yards away from my friend Ross (the Scot) and I. My wife Dee was often just a few feet away and she always has a great time watching the wild photographers watch and photograph the Bears. Here’s a good example of what we are missing this year but also preparing for next year.
I should also mention that I watched the movie “Ted” last night and even that made me miss our bear adventures…… 🙂
I thought I’d post a photo in honor of the opening of the Disney movie “Bears” in theaters this weekend. If you haven’t seen the trailers for the movie it looks like another amazing Disney animal movie which follows a Brown Bear family in Alaska. Having spent several weeks with the Bears in Alaska, I can’t wait to go see this one – Today! Hope that this photo motivates you to go see more of these wonderful animals at the movie – I’m sure you’ll enjoy it!!
This photo was taken at Silver Salmon Creek in Alaska during an early morning clamming session. The cubs were “learning the trade’ and also trying to beat the gulls to any leftovers from what mom found……
Sometimes a picture IS worth a thousand words…..
Earlier in the week I posted a composite photo called “Spirit Bear” which is also posted below. I also wanted to share the original photos that I used for that composite as I thought they were pretty good Brown Bear photos in their own right. The first one is a close-up of a bear we called the fishing bear as he seemed to be the most interested in a fish diet as opposed to just grazing in the sedge fields. He was actually standing in the middle of a salmon stream when this photo was taken.
To make the background of the composite photo, I applied an oil painting filter to the photo, converted it to a textured sepia tone and then applied a white vignette to give it more of a drawing look. The second photo I used was a photo of the same bear charging after a fish (he didn’t get it). I just overlaid that photo on the portrait in photoshop, resized it into the lower right corner and then masked out the parts of the photo that I didn’t want.
In case you forgot, here is the composite….
Its time for another Photoshop experiment. I am still enjoying exploring what you can do with this program without spending alot of time in trying to come up with perfect versions of my experiments. I thought it would be fun to combine a couple of shots of the same animal into a single photo. I took one of my close up views of a beautiful brown bear from Alaska this summer and used one of the creative filters to make it look like an oil painting to give it kind of surreal look. I turned it into a sepia toned portrait and added a vignette around the subject to fade out the details around the edges. I then superimposed an action photo of the same bear into the corner and masked out the extraneous details. While it is by no means perfect, I like the overall effect of the result. Hope you enjoy also…….
In approaching this challenge I just looked at how we approached the color palette for our remodeled master bedroom. The room has numerous french doors and windows looking out at our backyard which backs up on Balboa Park in San Diego. As you can imagine, green is the dominant color and then it is accented by some amazing built-in wood furniture that we had custom made for the room. Although it is a small room in has the feel of the great outdoors. Looking around the rest of the house, the theme is the same, greens and browns accentuated by wood accents – all very natural feeling. So I started to look for a photo also reflecting that theme and it became very easy as I had one of my favorite photos from our recent trip to Alaska on my desktop. The out-of-the camera version of this photo had very vivid greens from the sedge field that I wanted to tone down a little. To do that, I surrounded the adorable subjects of the photo with a white vignette. Interestingly, it very closely matches the colors in the room I am sitting in as I write this….
This one was pretty easy. Besides getting my morning coffee as discussed in the post announcing this challenge, I often grab a camera and try to capture something during the morning “golden hour”. When we were at Silver Salmon Creek in Alaska, we had a very lucky morning with the convergence of good morning weather at sunrise, low tide, and some bears out for an early meal of clams. We got up about 5 am, grabbed some quick coffee, then headed out for the tidal flats. Here is part of greeting committee with a hearty “good morning”!
Here’s a shot that I took in the early morning at Silver Salmon Creek. It was on a beautiful morning out on the tidal flats. Mom was teaching the cubs how to clam. She once again showed her comfort with bringing the cubs near to us humans. Don’t ask me why I thought this might be a decent candidate for a B&W treatment. I kinda like it….what do you think?