Back From the Bear Boat

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This image of a coastal Brown Bear chowing down on a salmon was created with the Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS lens and the EOS-1D Mark IV. ISO 800. Evaluative metering +1 2.3 stops: 1/160 sec. at f/5.6 set manually. I continually reminded my group that to obtain maximum detail in the dark fur of the bears that they needed to push the histogram as far to the right as possible without producing any un-recoverable highlights.

Back From the Bear Boat

The (wonderful) group flew by float plane from the bear boat in Katmai National Park to Kodiak on Friday morning and continued on to Anchorage on an ERA flight that afternoon. From there Monte Brown and I flew on an American Airlines red-eye to Dallas arriving at 5:10 am. He headed home on a flight to Indianapolis while I continued on another AA flight, this one arriving in Orlando just after 11am. After a stop at Publix for egg plant and chicken I made it home by about 1:30.

I slept almost the whole way on the red-eye and for another 90 minutes on the DFW/MCO leg yet when I arrived home I was a bit zonked from jet lag. After a nice nap I have been posting some images from the trip in various critique forums on BPN. I will be home for at least a while and will be positing here almost daily.

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That’s my good friend and student Monte Brown photographing a coastal Brown Bear (aka grizzly) with a short hand held lens. As the image was made with my 800 lens the elements of the composition are much compressed. Monte was not anywhere as close as he looks to the bear. That said, these huge creatures are amazingly docile and can be incredibly gentle with their cubs. The blood on the animal’s maw here is salmon blood :)

If you would like to explore the possibility of joining Robert O’Toole and me on a bear boat trip early next August please e-mail to have your name placed on the interested list.

Shopper’s Guide

Here is the gear that I used for many of my bear boat trip images including the two above:

Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS lens
Canon EOS-1D Mark IV professional digital camera body

And from the BAA On-line Store:

Gitzo 3530 LS Tripod
Mongoose M3.6 Tripod Head

If you are considering the purchase of a major piece of photographic gear be it a new camera, a long lens, a tripod or a head, or some accessories be sure to check out our complete Shopper’s Guide.

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