I don’t tend to seek decisive moment images – I prefer serenity over intensity and a preconception based on action is difficult to linearly follow through to its conception. This is simply because action in the wild is a “crap shoot”. If it happens it happens, but it is not necessarily art in my book.
But this image is perhaps slightly different. The detail of the kill is raw and timeless and this may subliminally elevate the visual impact. This is how I imagine the denouement of a salmon to a big bear in Moraine Creek 5,000 years ago or even five million years ago. The main players in this image have been a constant in a world of huge change – salmon ran up this creek not just before we could google “Alaska” but before Abraham Lincoln, Christopher Columbus, the Roman Empire and the dawn of man. And at the end of their run, huge 1000lb bears were there to eat the salmon – just as in 2017. What an extraordinary planet we live on. It is the wildlife that is the constant and it is this wildlife that we are treating with such shameful disrespect.
Bears and humans are co-tenants of the planet – the bears have just shown their habitat greater respect. Any human that thinks he has sovereignty over a bear like this, did not see this guy in action that Friday in July. He could have killed any human in a heartbeat, except he chose not to. He was primeval.