Bears are not an easy subject matter for me; in part because the backdrops are often a little messy, and in part the obvious safety issues. Fortunately, bears in Katmai, Alaska during the summer salmon runs are used to sharing rivers with fishermen and are largely comfortable with human presence.
The biggest issue for me, however, is that my default position is to try and glorify an animal and that tends to draw me towards the biggest versions of a species. With bears, that is being a little greedy, and in Katmai, one simply has to work with what is available.
Last week, however, this beautiful and sizeable sow caught our eye and one rainy morning she put on a little show for us out in the tundra. The light was marginal, but I just about got away with it. I was always looking for the head on shot and the rain added another layer of textural detail to what is a stunning bear.
This was the only photograph I took away from five long days in the field, but that’s fine with me. As with the fishermen up in Katmai; it is not the number of fish you catch, but the size of the biggest one.
I want to thank our excellent pilots Chad and Devon for looking after us so well in and out of Iliamna.