New Grizzly Bear Images Posted

2 young grizzly bears fighting in a salmon stream. Rarely do real vicious fights break out, but when they, these well-armed opponents can do some serious damage to one another. Grizzy bears, or coastal brown bears (Ursus arctos), playfight in Katmai National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

How ’bout that for a left hook! 2 young grizzly bears fighting in a salmon stream. Rarely do real vicious fights break out, but when they, these well-armed opponents can do some serious damage to one another. Grizzy bears, or coastal brown bears (Ursus arctos), playfight in Katmai National Park and Preserve, Alaska. Please click the image above t view a larger version of the photo.

Hey Folks,

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!

Cheers

Carl

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5 thoughts on “New Grizzly Bear Images Posted

  1. Brenda Toungate

    Awesome shot with such detail! How many frames per second were you shooting?
    When you are out like that..how far away are you and how safe are you?

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  3. Carl D Post author

    Hey Brenda

    Thank you for the comment. I shoot around 6 or 7 frames per second, I can’t recall. I shot this with a D300s, whatever that camera gets.

    But the key to shooting this kind of stuff is not simply a high frame per second camera body. It’s a matter of conserving the buffer, and not shooting it down on images you know won’t make the grade. So I try to watch carefully, and anticipate, best I might, when something cool might happen. I typically shoot short bursts of maybe 3 or 4 images, and rarely run more than that at a time.

    Regarding safety – I try to be as safe as possible. A subjective call, for sure, but I pay attention to the animal’s behavior, as well as what else is going on around me with other bears, etc, and heed their communication. Rarely will a bear like these just charge out of the blue .. if they’re upset with someone, or with each other, they make it very clear before any real action might come about.

    Hope this helps,

    Cheers

    Carl

  4. Brenda Toungate

    Well…..your photos are really really good!
    Someday my husband and I would like to come to Alaska. Yes, I have have drooled over your website many times!
    My husband has always wanted to see the lights! I loved the photo of the lights above the glowing tent!
    Hiking is a favorite thing. Though I have never backpacked and camped overnight in the great outdoors.
    With one child in college and the other still in high school I am not sure when this can happen yet.
    But who knows….. 😉

    Brenda

  5. Mark

    Wow, so many great shots Carl, with some great light on so many of them. I also see you have spent an amazing amount of time captioning! 🙂

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