…morning light is magic…

Close Encounters of the Bear Kind

This photo sequence was a major adrenalin rush to say the least.  One of my favorite bear encounters of my most awesome Alaskan adventure in Lake Clark Alaska with coastal brown bears.

Started out with mom and her cub playing near the shoreline. 

Following his typical behavior, the cub took off running and he ran right past us.  Tracked him while lying in the mud with my ground pod and got off a few shots while he gave me the side-eye.

Thought that was very cool experience but it got really interesting when mom decided to chase him.  Glanced back to my right and saw mom coming my way.  Didn’t have time to get worried or think but just react.

My years of experience with shooting from a ground pod came in very handy and quickly pivoted around on my stomach and focused on her as she “beared“ down on us.  Mom was doing her “happy run” with swinging her head from side to side, which is a behavior that we witnessed several times that week.

Just follow your nose….

Very little time to react as this entire sequence with mom lasted only 4 seconds.  Was challenging to try to keep her in the frame.  Major rush…

She kept getting closer…

and closer…

and closer!

Then, direct eye contact with a full size grizzly bear as she runs past me. Doesn’t get much better than that. Didn’t know that I got this shot until getting home and downloading my photos to the computer. Couldn’t take my laptop with me due to the bush plane weight restrictions.

She kept going and I kept shooting…

She kept running past us with this being the last frame that I captured in this series. Just wow!

Another one of those once in a lifetime encounters on this trip that I kept having and must repeat.

4 responses

  1. Joe Benzenhoefer

    Too close for me Tim

    August 2, 2021 at 7:44 am

  2. Diane

    Tim, your photography life is full of memory making moments to say the least! Wow. So glad this memory had a happy ending for you resulting in more beautiful photography. She is one gorgeous grizzly bear!! Thanks for sharing. That must have been an amazing heart thumping close encounter! Perhaps for you both!!

    August 2, 2021 at 10:12 am

  3. I didn’t have an issue when it happened but a few more nerves when looking at my photos when I got home.

    August 2, 2021 at 1:05 pm

  4. Thank you very much Diane! Always appreciate your support and feedback. It was a very surreal experience and didn’t feel any fear or have my heart pumping afterwards. Probably felt too comfortable in that situation but I could tell that the bears were playing and not coming after us. Can’t wait to go back and try it again, although this sequence will likely never be repeated, even if I tried.

    August 2, 2021 at 1:08 pm

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