Grizzly bear photo tour

07, October 7th, 2011 by Carl D
Brown bear standing, Katmai National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

Hey Folks,

Just back from a fantastic 2 weeks in Katmai National Park on our Grizzly Bears in the Fall Photo Tour. What a great way to wind up the season!

This year we had a challenging but rewarding trip; there were definitely fewer bears than in some recent years (still more than 45 bears along the river), but some great weather, light and conditions helped us to all make some nice images.

This photo I have to say a big thank you to one of the folks on week #2, Chris, a Brit now living in San Diego. I was loaded down with my 500mm and D300s on my tripod, and my D700 and 70-300m over my shoulder. We had moved off the river a little to give a passing bear some room, when this scene appeared behind us. Trying to stumble thru 4′ tall grass, hummocks and tussocks and wet marsh without busting my tail was a bit of a mission, and Chris kindly offered to hold my 500mm for me, so I could step over the ground easier and snag a shot before it was too late. Thanks Chris, I appreciate it.

I’d hoped to shoot a few more “bears in the landscape” type of photos this year, rather than concentrate on the closeup portraits I’d worked on in years past. I still really like those ‘in-your-face’ types shots of really big boars, they’ll also excite me; just looking thru a big telephoto lens and seeing the viewfinder fill with a massive grizzly bear up close and personal is always a treat. But the wider angle view can be a great and dynamic shot too. It’s impossible to make both at the same time, however, so making that choice of which to shoot is critical.

All in all, this was yet another great trip. I’d really like to thank everyone for making it such a great 2 weeks, and Jule, our camp magician, who turned ingredients into delicious meals 3 times a day, and most especially, the bears, whose patience and grandeur make it so worthwhile to visit this special place. Thanks all.

If you’re interested in next year’s Grizzly Bears in the Fall Photo Tour, please drop me a line; group size is limited and the trips inevitably fill quickly. This is one photo tour you’ll remember forever.



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2 Responses to “Grizzly bear photo tour”

  1. Greg Deming

    Chris: Did you have to pick Carl up after he stumbled trying to get to his ultimate shot? Did you have to retrieve his camera after he carelessly discarded it in the river? I can only imagine the hilarity of the moment!! Brings back memories of my 2010 trip with Carl. What fun!

  2. Hi Greg: Nah, not quite so hilarious….. Just offered a helping hand before he went nut’s with frustration at trying to juggle 2 set up’s, march through the weeds and re-position after moving out of the way of an on coming bear, to get the shot…… However lot’s of fun was had down on that river!!!!!! You’ve been there….You know how how that goes….Carl is quite the trip….It was a real blast!

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