Alaska, USA - 2021
This is a huge coastal bear; a living version of the stuffed ones that adorn the airports of lodges and airports in Alaska. They are bigger on the coast than in the inland tundra and that draws me to areas such as Kamishak Bay and the river that runs into it.
Adult bears draw our breath the most when they are standing as that is when their shoulders, their bulk and their menace are amplified. The average adult male coastal bear weighs five times as much as an average adult man and in many bear pictures - including the majority of mine - this is not adequately conveyed. Sometimes a wet bear can look a bit like an oversized dog and leave the cameraman frustrated that the encounter has been disserved.
But not here. A true first for me and an encounter I will long remember. There was a huge amount of luck involved and then at the key moment, just a little steel. I am low in the water and the bear is towering above me - there is no room for camera shake.
It was a fairly miserable day weather wise, but actually I think that the rainfall helps the image. Sometimes I work in a studio, but this was about as far from a studio as it is possible to be.