Alaska Brown Bear Adventure…A Fitting Send Off

Our departure day has arrived and it’s time to go for our last boat ride. The waders are packed as we will do all our sightseeing and shooting from the boat. It was a beautiful day for a ride so off we went right after breakfast. We found a raft of otters with a a couple cooperative fellows. I looked for a composition with more than one otter and liked the juxtaposition of these two…


Nikon D3S with AF-S 500mm f4 VR

I try to capture the emotion of the moment, the gesture of the subject and the appropriate light to give an image impact so that the viewer lingers form more than a brief second over my images. When the otter rolled over, I found the emotion and gesture (Jay Maisel is the master of capturing gesture in his photographs) in the way he held his flippers in front of his face and with sun out for a change and over my shoulder, the exposure was an easy one at minus .5 to add some depth to the colors…


Nikon D3S with AF-S 500mm f4 VR

And when you get lucky enough that the otter allows you approach within nearly frame filling, closeness, you’ve got to make some nice portraits with a telephoto lens as well…


Nikon D3S with AF-S 500mm f4 VR

Farther down the bay we found a seal basking on a seaweed covered rock. So, the question is…do you include the awesome background to give the seal a sense of place?…


Nikon D3S with AF-S 24-120mm f4 VR

Or, do you fill the frame with a head and shoulders portrait if the seal allows you to approach within range…


Nikon D3S with AF-S 500mm f4 VR

Or, do you wait for that moment when the seal reaches her flipper up to scratch her nose adding gesture to a static portrait and click the shutter…


Nikon D3S with AF-S 500mm f4 VR

When we arrived two weeks ago there was a sow and cub clamming near where we landed. We simply grabbed our cameras and began shooting. Two amazing weeks have passed and when it was time to go, we headed to meet our plane and found the same sow and cub, clamming. Once again we grabbed our cameras and began shooting. How fitting that the first subjects I photographed are also the last…


Nikon D3S with AF-S 500mm f4 VR

The cub is healthy and the sow is a good mom. she protects the little guy but also gives him the freedom to explore and learn to be self sufficient too. Mom would dig up clams and then leave one here and there for the cub to find and work, teaching him how to clam…


Nikon D3S with AF-S 500mm f4 VR

He was a curious little guy and would pause now and then to check us out…


Nikon D3S with AF-S 500mm f4 VR

And then, off he would run to be close to his mom…


Nikon D3S with AF-S 500mm f4 VR

Before long we heard the drone of our plane as it arrived to take us back to Kodiak and reality…


Nikon D3S with AF-S 24-120mm f4 VR

We boarded the plane and as it took off, I made a few last images of the beautiful landscape that had been my home for the last two weeks…


Nikon D3S with AF-S 24-120mm f4 VR

It was a beautiful flight and before we knew it Kodiak was in view…


Nikon D3S with AF-S 24-120mm f4 VR

Many thanks to the folks who joined me and enjoyed my home away from home for a few weeks and a special thanks to Angela and Perry, Bob and Shawn for making our stay such an incredible adventure! See you in August!