Focal Length: 800, F/Stop: 5.6, Exposure Time: 1/500

I have found that photographing bears is the most challenging endeavor I have ever done with photography. Challenging in several ways. I’m not talking about photographing them from places like Katmai N.P., Halo bay, or Silver Salmon Creek Lodge, in the safety of others …… Nope …. I’m talking about photographing Bears, where there is only you and the bear ….. I know that to most people this sounds like committing suicide ……. I mean who in their right mind would do such a thing …..Right? I mean go out in the bush all a lone and go looking for a grizzly or coastal brown bear, just to get as close as one can to get photographs …….. absurd right? ….. Well I do and I do it every year when the bears start coming out in the spring ….. when the bears are just milling around having fun in the summer sun and I’m there when they are in the rivers chowing down on the salmon for that winter fat they need so much.

Focal Length: 400, F/Stop: 5.6, Exposure Time: 1/200

The one emotion one has to get over or learn to control is “FEAR”. That is why there is not that many that are willing to do what I do, is because of the FEAR factor. Most people go to our National parks like  Katmai N.P., Halo bay, or Silver Salmon Creek Lodge, because for them they need that sense of safety. Learn the “REAL” difference between truth and myths of bears and you’ll find the fear you thought you once had is gone.

Focal Length: 400, F/Stop: 2.8, Exposure Time: 1/800

The other things you have to learn is where are the bears and at what seasons you’ll see them. Bears have a very large territorial range, but for me I always find out where the food is. That is the best way to find bears, is to follow the food.In the spring, find winter kill, winter mush berries, dandelions and grasses. They eat all these things in the spring because they are easy on their stomachs and they are full of protein and they are sweet tasting. In the summers they eat grasses, different types of berries, dead kill, mice, voles and such. In land grizzlies will eat the same summer foods in the fall but the coastal grizzlies, coastal browns and coastal black bears will add salmon and lots of salmon to their diets and that is where you will find these bears.

Focal Length: 400, F/Stop: 2.8, Exposure Time: 1/800

If you ever try to photograph the bears alone with just you there …. you will find their characters totally different than if there is a group of people. When there is a group of people the bear is always on the look out, always on guard ….. not being what a bear is suppose to be …. but if you can get alone with a bear you will find him doing the natural thing a bear does. It’s hard for me to write about what I’m talking about ….. but if you ever get that chance of being a lone with a bear …. you’ll understand what I’m saying. You’ll be able to get down low to his/her level and get that photograph that makes him/her look so big …. you’ll be able to get closer that you ever thought so that you don’t have to use that 4,5 or 600mm lens. I do want you to know that you “MUST” always be aware of your surroundings when out by yourself photographing bears, because from my own experience, as I’m photographing one bear, low and be hold, there’s another bear that is closer to me than the one that I’m photographing …… for I have found that when I’m alone photographing some bears, I get this awesome feeling that they are excepting me just being there and this has happened to me more than a couple of times …..

Focal Length: 400, F/Stop: 2.8, Exposure Time: 1/640

Photographing bears at their level give’s one a different perspective of what they are all about which comes out in my images ….. I think it gives me a better and different story to tell everyone, through my images. Isn’t that what all photographers are trying to do through photography ….. to tell a story and give their audience a different way of looking at something …. if I have done that through my images …. then you be the judge. ………. But if you hear about or see a photographer out photographing bears by him/her self …. don’t think to harsh about the way they are doing it…….as many do ……. after all, they are just trying to tell their story the best way they can ….. through their images.

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