An adult brown bear (Ursus arctos) resting on driftwood near the beach at Hallo Bay, Katmai National Park and Preserve, Alaska. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.
Just returned from a trip over to Katmai National Park, where we photographed brown bears at Hallo Bay and Kukak Bay; we were super lucky to get some great light, great bears, and some really cool photo opportunities. This young bear was hanging around a pile of driftwood in Hallo Bay, and the rich greens of the sedge grasses beyond made a nice soft background.
It took a little bit of work to scramble around over these logs and whatnot, carrying over 20lbs of camera gear, to get in a good position for photography, but I think it was well worth it.
Oftentimes making the effort to move and get in position is the real difference between making a photo, and making the photo you want. It could be the direction of light, the background, the angle of view, proximity to the subject, or a combination of countless other variables that really makes the difference.
It’s far too easy to hike a bit, set up a tripod, point the camera at a subject, then try to zoom in or out, without moving and improving the image. The best advice I might offer is to continually be looking for ways to improve the image you see through the viewfinder.
Sometimes it’s simply not possible or practical to change it much; safety or disturbing the subject, or other photographers in the area all might restrict where we set up and how much we move. But keep your eyes posted around you, and look for ways to improve your image simply by moving your position. You’ll be glad you did.