Last year experience with the grizzly bears had been really fantastic and I couldn’t resist coming back in this incredible location once again.
A bit later in the season the goal of this expedition is capturing action shots of grizzly bears while fishing. Usually by the end of August Silvers Salmon Creek is teemed with salmons on the way upstream for the yearly migration.
After a breathtaking flight along Cook Inlet coastline we are welcomed at the cozy Silver Salmon Creek lodge where a couple of two year old cubs are playing in the yard.During my ten days stay I was blessed with good weather and only a couple of days of strong wind and rain. Very lucky if compared to the last year downpour!
However this year wasn’t a great one for salmon and the bears were not really active as I wish they would.I spent a lot of time observing sleeping bears and, lacking action, you have to figure out a way to become a bit creative. Here I was playing overexposing my images in order to blow out totally the water around the bear.A few minutes later I decided to do exactly the opposite way… underexposing in order to have a silhouette bear. Both ways I think work well depending on the mood you’d like to convey.
On the field don’t be lazy and work you subject. Change lens and angle of view as often as possible. From super telephoto lenses (here I’m using a 600mm f4 combined with a 1.7x converter) to get intimate with your subject, to wide angle lenses to tell a story and give a sense of place.But always be ready for the action that could happen any time and very quickly.
In order to freeze the action you need to shoot at least at 1/500s and depending on the light conditions you set your depth of field and ISO settings accordingly
Even if the sun is in the “wrong” position… keep shooting… I think that some of my most successful images are actually backlit images!
Sometimes you visit a place with some precise expectations. I was looking for some specific images… fishing bears. It didn’t really happen. Was I disappointed? Not at all. This is part of the game and the beauty of being there and be surprised.