Alaska Coastal Brown Bears

MitchellMitchell Major grinsPosts: 3,496Registered Users Major grins

I had the pleasure of spending a week this September in Lake Clark NP, Alaska to photograph the coastal brown bears. While it was the last week of the season, the experience was superb. I will never forget the experience with these bears and the wonderful guides who kept me safe while staring through the camera.

  1. The plane landed on the beach and one hour later I was laying down on the sand watching this sow nursing her cub by the shore.

  2. This was followed by a family stroll on the beach when we returned after dinner. This shot taken after sunset.

  3. This was the end of the silver salmon run. Just a few stragglers were around. The bears worked hard to catch these last few fish before hibernation.

  4. Fresh sushi?

  5. This blonde bear was stunning in the nice light.

  6. This sub-adult male put on a great show for us by splashing around but lacked the skills to catch any fish.

  7. After a day of shooting, I returned to my cabin to freshen up for dinner. I hear a rustling next to the porch and this cub poked his head up from the bushes a few feet away from me. I quickly set down my tripod with the big glass and picked up the 70-200mm I had strapped on a second body around my neck to catch a few frames before he darted off.

  8. Subadult checking us out at dusk.

  9. Another nursing photo. I liked the pose and the environment on this one.

  10. Tried to make the best of the lighting on this one.

Comments

  • shniksshniks The Light Explorer Posts: 892Registered Users Major grins

    Great photos Mitch. Looks like you had a good time. I was there in July, but there were no clams and I missed the beach shots. Maybe next time.

    Cheers,

  • denisegoldbergdenisegoldberg Major grins North Andover, MAPosts: 12,228Super Moderators moderator

    These are amazing Mitch!
    1 and 4 are my favorites of the set.

  • StumblebumStumblebum I shoot, therefore I am Posts: 7,527Registered Users Major grins

    Epic stuff! Congrats!~

  • MitchellMitchell Major grins Posts: 3,496Registered Users Major grins

    @shniks said:
    Great photos Mitch. Looks like you had a good time. I was there in July, but there were no clams and I missed the beach shots. Maybe next time.

    Cheers,

    Thanks. No clamming while I was there, but they spent most of the days on the beach and eating peas by the shore.

    @denisegoldberg said:
    These are amazing Mitch!
    1 and 4 are my favorites of the set.

    Thanks, Denise. I've got so many photos from this week that it's hard to pick favorites for me.

    @Stumblebum said:
    Epic stuff! Congrats!~

    Thanks. One of my best photography weeks. Lucked out with great weather and cooperative subjects.

  • pathfinderpathfinder Drive By Digital Shooter western IndianaPosts: 14,394Super Moderators moderator
    edited December 8, 2018

    Looks like a great trip with great light, no rainy or very grey days and a set of wonderful images.

    I really like every one of these!

    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
  • David_S85David_S85 Spotter of Dgrin Spam and Oddities ChicagolandPosts: 12,256Administrators moderator

    Super sat of bears. Love number seven.

    My Smugmug
    "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take" - Wayne Gretzky
  • RichardRichard Mildly bemused Madrid, SpainPosts: 18,810Administrators, Vanilla Admin moderator

    Awesome set, Mitch. I love the low POV--it makes them even more immediate.

  • MitchellMitchell Major grins Posts: 3,496Registered Users Major grins

    @pathfinder said:
    Looks like a great trip with great light, no rainy or very grey days and a set of wonderful images.

    I really like every one of these!

    Thanks. I got lucky with the weather. I would have been happy with some interesting skies, but I won't complain.

    @David_S85 said:
    Super sat of bears. Love number seven.

    Thanks, David. #7 was a shocker.

    @Richard said:
    Awesome set, Mitch. I love the low POV--it makes them even more immediate.

    I spent most of the week laying down or kneeling in the sand trying to get low. I think it really does help.

  • MoonMan04MoonMan04 MontanaPosts: 46Registered Users Big grins

    That's awesome! I always have my camera ready too for opportunities like #7 haha

    Kyle C. Moon
    Portfolio: Moonman.Photography

  • MitchellMitchell Major grins Posts: 3,496Registered Users Major grins

    @MoonMan04 said:
    That's awesome! I always have my camera ready too for opportunities like #7 haha

    The best camera is the one you have ready.

  • redleashredleash Texas Grins San Antonio, TXPosts: 3,738Registered Users Major grins

    Great set, Mitch! All the shots are nice and most stand alone in their storytelling but as a group it is wonderful. My favorites are 1, 4 and 6. Nicely captured and the most interesting of all of them. Looks like you had a terrific experience.

    Lauren

    "But ask the animals, and they will teach you." (Job 12:7)

    Lauren Blackwell
    www.redleashphoto.com
  • kdogkdog artistically challenged San Jose, CAPosts: 11,433Administrators moderator

    Not sure how I missed these first time around, but these are superb shots. What a wonderful experience that must have been.

  • kurzvorzwoelfkurzvorzwoelf Stuttgart, GermanyPosts: 212Registered Users Major grins

    And I must have missed it too, somehow. Good that you brought this thread up again just in time, @kdog

    Mitchell, dunno what to say, these shots leave me speechless. I admire people like you who actually take the time to go out in the wild and also have the patience and skills to create such phantastic shots. Bears are phenomenal creatures and I'd love to have the opportunity to see some in their natural habitat one fine day. Maybe I should hire as a nature photographer's assistant some day (carrying all the heavy lenses hehe) and bring myself binoculars.

    Thanks for sharing those pictures, man.

    Wise words from the Dog of Wisdom: If your ball is too big for your mouth, it's not yours.

    I'm here to learn and progress. Honest feedback and criticism on my images is warmly appreciated!

    My SmugMug site - kurzvorzwoelf.com

  • JonaBeth RussellJonaBeth Russell Major grins MauiPosts: 846Registered Users Major grins

    These are absolutely remarkable images! Thank you so much for sharing the set.

  • SusansmithaSusansmitha Dhaka, BangladeshPosts: 10New member Big grins
    These shots are superb. well done!
  • govindvkumargovindvkumar IndiaPosts: 2Registered Users Beginner grinner
    The shot of Bear catching the fish is really amazing.. Congrats !!
  • JeffroJeffro I'd rather be shooting... Posts: 1,909Registered Users Major grins

    Very cool shots.

    Always lurking, sometimes participating. :D
  • CountrylovingmammaCountrylovingmamma Colorado, USAPosts: 13Registered Users Big grins
    Very Nice shots! What a treat to see and capture on camera :)
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