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Posts tagged “Coastal Brown Bear

Bear Thievery

The beginning of the eagle saga starts when the cub takes off running and flies by us and out towards the water. Mom then takes off after him and shows us her happy run when she would swing her head around.

The cub had found a bald eagle on a kill and was making a b-line for it. More to come…

The cub catches some air with all four feet off of the ground as he picks up speed. Had no clue on where he was going at this point.

Spun around on my stomach with my ground pod to capture him in partial silhouette as he hit max Q.

Mom followed him and was giving us her happy dance run when she would swing her head back and forth. A very happy bear once she figured out where junior was going to.

The cub was running to take away a fish that the bald eagle had caught.


Ground Pod Bear Photography

The best piece of camera equipment that I took on my bear photography trip to Alaska was my ground pod. If you follow my blog or on Facebook, you know that I love to use my ground pod for getting low to take shorebird photos. Never dreamed that I’d get the opportunity to take grizzly bear photos from a ground pod.

A few weeks prior to our trip to Alaska, we had a zoom call with our workshop leader and he described the mudflats at Lake Clark. When I asked him if I should take my ground pod, he said yes. Best advice in the world on this trip. Only used my tripod once but used my ground pod on a daily basis. The mudflats looked just like Bolivar only much larger, better backgrounds and with bears on it.

This first photo is a cell phone shot by our outstanding guide and very good photographer from Silver Salmon Creek Lodge, Dave Rasmus. Mom and her cub were working their way toward us while 3 of our group, along with Dave, were standing up taking photos and I’m the one laying down with my ground pod just shooting away. In this photo, I had already turned my camera vertical so they were getting close @ 500mm, see the 3rd photo below.

This next photo is almost full frame when they were walking towards me. Mom was off to my left but I maintained focus on the cub as he was adorable, although those claws could do some serious damage.

1/1600 @ F11, ISO 1600, evaluative metering, +2/3 exposure compensation, 500mm from ground pod

As he got closer, here is where I rotated my camera on my gimbal head to the vertical position to help try to keep him in the frame. He ended up getting very close before the guide turned him around by talking to him. Mom was a ways away and couldn’t have cared less about us.

1/1600 sec @ F11, ISO 1600, evaluative metering, +1 exposure compensation, 500mm, uncropped from ground pod

Mom later walked by and showed off her claws in this full frame/uncropped photo. Off the charts fantastic experience for sure. Wouldn’t try this anywhere but this location where we had a very experienced guide with bear spray that knows their behavior, the bears are used to people, we aren’t in their food chain, people don’t hunt/harass them.

1/800 sec @ F11, ISO 1600, evaluative metering, +1 exposure compensation, 500mm, uncropped from ground pod


Young Bear

This young coastal brown bear stole my heart when in Alaska a couple of weeks ago. He was very animated and had quite the personality. The look he gave me in this photo was “do you want to go play in the mud”? Of course I said yes, many times. More to follow.

1/2000 sec @ F11, ISO 1600, evaluative metering, +1/3 exposure compensation

Taken with Canon 1DX III with Canon 500mm F4 IS II lens, handheld


Alaskan Coastal Brown Bears

Made my first trip to Alaska last week and spent some quality time with the bears at Lake Clark National Park, which was an incredible experience.  Took my waders & ground pod with me as they have a mudflats so got down low and up personal with the bears, especially the cub.

In this photo, mom was standing to look over the tall grass to check for male bears, which will kill the cubs.  She lost 2 cubs last year.  This cub is about 1 ½ yrs old.

1/1600 sec @ F13, ISO 2500, evaluative metering, -1/3 exposure compensation, 560mm, handheld, Canon 100-400 with 1.4X, full frame with no cropping