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Brown Bear in Lupines

We caught this coastal brown bear walking through the lupines along a bear trail at Silver Salmon Creek Lodge in Alaska. Our guide and trip leader lead us to the end of that trail when they saw her enter that area. Was great timing as she slowly walked towards us, and we got out of her way.

The RF 100-500 worked very well on this trip with using it everywhere except the mudflats, where my 500F4 was the workhorse.  It was much easier to lug around.

1/2000 @ F8, ISO 5000, evaluative metering, 451mm, R3 + 100-500

Back to Alaska

Made it back to Lake Clark in Alaska for some more bear photography this year with Marc and bear guide extraordinaire, David Rasmus. Had a great time to say the least.

Last year was spent following Crimp and her cub around. This year, we saw Crimp on our first day and she was mating as she had kicked her cub out a few weeks ago. We did see her 3rd year cub and he pretty much looks the same, just larger. He was hanging out with Old Sow’s 3 year old cub on one of the days.

On this trip, we spent more quality time with the bears digging up clams on the mudflats, which I loved. Being able to get full framed shots like this still blows my mind. This bear is displaying an interesting behavior using the top of her paw for a table to eat the clam, which I don’t recall seeing last year. They have amazing dexterity with their claws and use them like fingers to pry apart the clams.

1/1600 @ F11, ISO 6400, evaluative metering, R3+500F4 on Skimmer ground pod, uncropped

Riding the Wave @ Galveston’s FeatherFest

Took this photo during my first Galveston FeatherFest field trip to Bolivar Flats Audubon Shorebird Sanctuary on the Texas gulf coast. I led four trips to Bolivar Flats again this year in April with this one being challenging with the weather that morning. The wind was blowing at 25 – 30 mph with heavy surf for this area. If it wasn’t for FeatherFest, I typically would have stayed home in those conditions, which makes me wonder how many great photo ops that I’ve missed over the years by not going in adverse conditions. This outing was unique as only one participant, Peggy, showed up for this trip.

In this photo, a group of dunlins and one ruddy turnstone were hanging out on a batch of seaweed that was bobbing up and down with the waves. A small wave came in that made the first dunlin launch up into the air. This group would then feed off of the material that washed up on the mound of seaweed.

I finally made the dive into mirrorless cameras with a Canon R3, which I’ll provide some more information on in a future post.

Taken with Canon R3 with 500mm F4 IS II lens, 1.4X teleconverter mounted on Skimmer ground pod with Wimberley II gimbal head

1/1000 @ F11, ISO 4000, evaluative metering, +1 exposure compensation

Black Wolf in Yellowstone

One of my goals after seeing a black wolf in 2018 was to get a better shot showing their yellow eyes.  Mission accomplished from my recent Yellowstone trip.

After he came out of the woods with his mate, he stopped and looked in my direction. Great pose for a full frame uncropped photo.

1/1000 sec @ F7.1, ISO 400, manual mode, 700mm, handheld while sitting in a snowbank

He walked to our left and then made his way closer. In this photo, he had just turned his body slightly towards us and looked at me again with his right leg in motion for just the photo op that I was hoping for. He only looked at me for 2 seconds but was able to get a few shots off. The eyes have it!

Yellowstone Wolves

It’s always a thrill to see a wolf in Yellowstone.  Got lucky on 2 of my 4 trips to see them up close.

We saw a male black wolf and a female walking down the road on one of our trips in the snow coach.  They left the road and went into the woods.  We drove past the crowd of people trying to see them and stopped at a field next to the woods.  They came out of the woods and walked parallel to the road at a distance and then came closer.  Looked like they were going to give us a show by mating, but it didn’t happen.

1/1000 sec @ F7.1, ISO 400, manual mode, 700mm, handheld

Here is the beautiful female.

Frosty Bison

Got home yesterday from a trip to Yellowstone with 7 days of shooting in the park.  Spend 3 days in a snow coach from West Yellowstone and 4 days driving on the northern range from Gardiner.  It’s always a great time to be in Yellowstone in the winter.  The animal activity was slower than normal this year likely due to the lower snow pack in the park but still had some great photo ops with wolves, moose, bison, coyotes, bald eagles and a large herd of big horned sheep. 

Used manual mode while shooting in the snow. Only used my tripod once since it is much easier to use a Black Rapid strap for my 500mm lens when bailing out of the vehicle for some fast-moving action shots.

Found this frosty bison close to the road as he was using his head to push away the snow to get to the grass in -16 deg F temperatures.  Was hoping for colder weather for more frost.

1/640 sec @ F7.1, ISO 2500, manual mode, 700mm, handheld

Avocet Gliding

American avocet gliding along after sunrise on Texas gulf coast this morning. Sunrise was amazing with the cloud formations and red light. The sun eventually popped out of the clouds providing some good light. Ended up leaving when the sun went behind the clouds as I’m not a fan of flat light.

1/2000 sec @ F9, ISO 3200, evaluative metering, -2/3 exposure compensation, 700mm from Skimmer ground pod, minor cropping

Taken with Canon 1DX III, Canon 500mm F4 IS II with 1.4X III teleconverter mounted on Skimmer ground pod with Wimberley II gimbal head

Water Explosion Frozen in Time

Reddish egret diving for fish in a tidal pond at Bolivar Flats Audubon Shorebird Sanctuary.  While heading back to my car after a successful early morning taking shorebird photos, found this reddish egret that was catching some small fish in a separate small tidal pool.  Got some very cool splash shots but didn’t like the background so converted this one to B&W and cropped in on the splash.

1/1250 @ F10, ISO 1600, evaluative metering, +2/3 exposure compensation, 700mm from ground pod

Ninja Cub

Coastal brown bear cub about to go full ninja on his mom at Lake Clark Alaska.  Mom was doing her best to keep him calm.  It was a blast to watch these two play.

1/800 @ F11, ISO 3200, evaluative metering, +1 2/3 exposure compensation, 500mm from Skimmer ground pod, uncropped

Published Again in PetaPixel.com

PetaPixel.com published my airshow photo along with my words about why I liked this photo. It’s toward the end of this article. Thanks again PetaPixel!

https://petapixel.com/2021/08/22/great-reads-in-photography-august-22-2021/