Alaska brown bear photo

Brown bear (Ursus arctos), at Hallo Bay, Katmai National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

Brown bear (Ursus arctos), at Hallo Bay, Katmai National Park and Preserve, Alaska. Please click on the photo above to view a larger version of this photo.

Hey Folks,

Just returned from a week on the Katmai coast photographing brown bears. This was a new trip for me this year; I’d not been over to this specific location, or at this time of year, previously.

It was a grand trip; flying out of Kodiak, and spending a week on a boat along the coast, shooting bears in gorgeous soft summer light. My personal photography priority for the trip was bears in the landscape. I also wanted some cool “behavioral” photos, which included bears clamming at low tide, sparring with one another, and even mating. Cool stuff to shoot.

Shooting mid-summer in Alaska requires a great deal of flexibility; if the weather is clear and sunny, the best light (in this area) is at 9:30pm – 11pm, and 5:00am – 6:00am. So by the time we’d get back from a shoot, it might well be after midnight. Getting back up at 4:30am to shoot again is a rough gig. On the other hand, if the skies are overcast, we’d shift to a more routine schedule, and head out around 8am.

Switching back and forth from one schedule to the next, day to day, is hard and extremely tiresome. I slept pretty well when I got home.

And, speaking of getting home, a good tip is to make sure your luggage doesn’t get left on the boat when you fly back to Kodiak – especially if the specific piece of luggage holds your wallet and ID.



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