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…
Well, after a week of photographing eagles, otters, and the occasional moose, we finally got the opportunity to play with some bears. After our week long bear trip was cancelled, I started researching bear lodges and with the help of the wonderful people at the Homestead lodge at Silver Salmon Creek, we were able to book a two day stay in Bear country. We arrived at the site by air charter and were transported to the lodge by ATV – the lodge was incredibly beautiful and homey and the staff were tremendous – especially our bear guide Scott who gave us every opportunity to maximize our interactions with the local Bear population. You’ll be seeing alot of the local Bears but I thought I’d start with one of the first shots I took on our first morning. This mom and her two spring cubs were very hospitable and we were able to see and photograph them in a variety of environments. This particular moment captures the reaction on the Mom and one of the cubs as another bear came into the area. They immediately went on alert and departed the area. I hope you enjoy this series for the next several days (maybe even weeks) – we are still in Alaska and will have more to share but our bear adventures are probably over for now 😦
so this will probably be my last post for a little while. We’re off to go camping with Brown Bears in the Katmai Region of Alaska again – this will be our third year doing that and it is definitely one of the coolest trips we do. We’re going to a little different area this time and we are keeping our fingers crossed on the weather. Our bear guide called by satellite phone to tell us that for the last week the wind has been blowing at 60-80 mph and his guests for this week haven’t been able to get to the tent camp – in fact he has been unable to set up some of the camp because of the wind. The long range forecasts we’ve found seem to be improving so hopefully we’ll be able to get out there with those magnificent animals. In any case I thought I’d leave you with another shot of what we hope to see. I’ve posted this photo before but I re-procesed this one to make it more of an “art shot”. This is from 2 years ago – this little cub was following its mom along the beach near our camp. The cub was very inquisitive and kept standing up to see us over the wispy grass and bushes growing on the shoreline. I hope we’ll have new shots like this to share in the near future….take care.
This is one of those coincidences that make it easy to make a choice of photos for the challenge. I looked this morning to see the subject for this week’s challenge and then I glanced at my wallpaper on my computer (which changes daily from one of my photo files) and up came this shot of our Bear Camp from last year at Hallo Bay, Alaska. This is certainly a foreshadowing “sign” as we are in the final stages of preparation for this year’s trip to photograph the Bears in Alaska. We leave next week for another fun and awe-filled week with the largest land predators in North America. I hope we get some more sunsets like this one but I also hope that the overall weather is better than we had last year when it rained the entire week. Lastly – I hope that the Bears are well-fed!!
We’ll be back on the salmon streams this year so get ready for more of this….
It was a rainy day here in san diego so I had some time to kill. I stumbled across a YouTube video tutorial on how to use photoshop to make it appear that your images are jumping out of the photo – I thought I’d give it a try. Here’s the result of that tutorial on one of my Bear photos from our Alaska trip in 2011. This is a pretty quick and dirty experiment – I would have taken much more time (this took about 25 minutes) if I’d have wanted to do a “clean version”. Kinda fun – Hope you enjoy….
Hello again from Bellagio. Saw the challenge title and thought of at least a couple of photos to share. This first one shows that happiness is about being able to scratch that itch (whatever or where-ever it is).
Another definition of happiness could be the presence of a friend to share things with….like this.
I thought I’d post this photo of one of my favorite Bears from our trip. This guy was out all by himself on the tidal flats clamming as we were waiting for airplane to come pick us up from the beach. We first walked out without cameras just to spend some time with the bear before we left. After about 10 minutes we all realized that this was a special bear – both very photogenic and very cooperative in posing as he was going about his searches on some of the rocky areas of the flats. We ran about a quarter mile back to the beach to get our cameras and spent about 20 minutes with him before the tide started coming in (quickly). It was a great way to end our stay with the bears and the perfect bear to provide the final fond memory of our week.
Last week I posted a picture of a red fox on the beach. We also saw this guy – first in the weeds and then out on the beach. If you compare the two, they have entirely different coloring with this one being kind of a chocolate brown. I looked for pictures to match this one and came across a “cross fox” which I found differing opinions on – whether it was a red fox with a seasonal coat or whether it is a different species. In any case he was very daper in his different colors and he gave us quit a chase before we got any photos of him.
We didn’t get to see any serious bear fights in Alaska as we were past the prime mating period. We did however, get to see a couple of play fights among sub adult males. These two went at it for quite a while including chasing eachother from one side of a stream to the other and then re-engaging. They were fairly rough but you could tell that it didn’t have the intensity or the intent that a real fight has.
We had been hoping that we would have some good opportunities to see wolves while in Hallo Bay. As it turns out, we saw lots of “evidence” of wolves but not many wolves in the flesh. In fact, I think we only really saw one wolf – but we saw him twice in the same place. Our guide had told us he had seen wolves along a string of tidal driftwood in the meadows. While near there, I caught a glimpse of what I think was a large grey wolf but he disappeared very quickly and did not reappear. While keeping a lookout for that wolf, we found this youngster sitting atop a rocky outcropping just surveying the meadow. We took a long and circuitous route to approach him without disturbing him and we were able to get some decent, long distance photos. This is my favorite, with him just relaxing and watching us from his perch. It was a great thing to see and capture in the wild. I hope you enjoy!
Just so you can understand the distances, this photo was taken at 60-70 yards away and is cropped to highlight the wolf. When we first saw this wolf he looked like this (through a 500mm telephoto lens) at a LONG ways away…