I’ve finally added some new grizzly bear images to my website – after way too much time. I’ve just added nearly 250 new grizzly bear images from my trips to Katmai in 2009 and 2010. Check them out, starting at row 6, image 09_SEP0345.jpg; some of the images have appeared on the blog in the past, but many of them have not; especially those whose file names start with 10_JUL … those photos are from this most recent trip.
So, how about this particular photo? We were shooting 2 other bears when I saw this scuffle start to erupt behind us. Time to move and move fast, these little eruptions (usually) don’t last too long. So we shouldered the tripods and heavy gear, and moved quickly through the long marshy grass to be in position to shoot this ‘fight’.
Knowing what might happen is a big help when you’re photographing wild animals. It can make all the difference between being ready for something awesome, and completely missing it. (See my recent blog post on Expeditions Alaska about how often we miss).
We saw these 2 young bears playfight several times during the 2 weeks I was down there.
They weren’t really “hanging” together, but would occasionally cross paths, and after a quick greeting, usually start to wrestle and jostle. I don’t know for sure, but they’re most likely siblings who’ve since gone their separate ways; when they reconnect they wrestle and joust for a bit, nuzzle one another, and move along. Sometimes they’d stay together and head off in tow, though most often they’d go wander off alone.
Thought grizzly bears are considered to be ‘solitary‘ by most researchers, some people don’t look at it that way. Their highly developed communication and sense of social hierarchy could just as clearly indicate that they’re social creatures with a wider sense of personal space than ourselves. Makes perfect sense to me; bears have an incredible sense of smell, for example, and though they may not sit in one another’s pocket, they have a pretty good idea of which bears are where in a radius of up to 1/4mile or more (sometimes) of their vicinity. It would be odd for a social creature with that kind of sense of awareness to have a personal space similar to our own.
Anyway, we moved into position and were shooting these 2 wrestling when the male threw this massive left hook. Fortunately, I had my finger on the trigger, and snagged this moment. I kept shooting and shooting, and didn’t check the viewfinder at all. I had no idea whether I’d caught this left hook or not, though I had seen it through the viewfinder (usually an indication that I had NOT caught it in camera). I was super glad when I finally browsed through the CF cards and saw this shot.
I really would like to thank all the folks who came out this year on our Grizzly Bear Photo Tours; it was a real blast getting to meet and shooting with everyone and always a treat to see Bob again. I’ll give a wider shoutout to everyone in a bit, but for now, this is a big thank you to everyone, and a “Cheers” from Alaska. Thank you.
Also, a big “Thank you” to all the fans of Expeditions Alaska who’ve joined the Expeditions Alaska’s Facebook page. We just hit nearly 3000 ‘likes‘ so far, and that’s awesome. I appreciate it very much. if you have clicked the “Like” button,go ahead and join up. I’ll try to make that page as interesting as I can, and will start adding some more information and tidbits on it soon.
So, if you have a minute, check out the link to my new grizzly bear images; scroll down to Row #6, browse from there, and let me know what you think. I still have more to come yet, but they’re mostly similar compositions or alternatives to add. A few more though, that I’ll add soon enough.
Last, and most importantly, thanks to the grizzly bears. What magnificent creatures they are. Thanks bears!