Coastal brown bear rolls in a grassy meadow with its feet sticking in the air. Katmai National Park, Alaska Peninsula, southwest Alaska. Canon 5D Mark III, 500mm f/4L IS, 1/640 sec @ f/6.3, ISO 400
If you have watched bears along the coast of Alaska in the summer, it is clear that they have busy days filled with eating. This is particularly true when salmon are not available and their intake consists of the ubiquitous flora that fills the lush meadows. While photographing this particular bear for hours, or rather watching it for hours since it was so busy eating that it rarely lifted its head, let alone expressed any interest in looking toward the camera. The tops of wild celery plants was the food of choice for this bear.
Eventually the bear took a little break in a grassy meadow to scratch its back. Although a fleeting moment in the continuum of time we spent watching and photographing the bear, it is moments like this when you want to be ready. Being prepared with the right lens, exposure settings, and positioning is often not as easy as it may appear. I’ve written an article on photographing Alaska wildlife that you may find interesting if you are planning a trip to Alaska.
I was with a group of five other people on this trip, which is offered by Arctic Wild, an Alaska company specializing in Alaska Adventure Trips and Wilderness Tours. I’ll be writing more about this excellent group of skilled and proficient guides and operators in a future post.