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seantaylor
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Great shot. Look at the size of the claws. Wow!!
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marcbaechtold May 13
nice work! Some nice colors and good contrast, keep shooting!

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Apr, 2017
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Brown Bear Peek A Boo



Taken at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, this beauty was "hiding" from two older and larger brown bears. Check out those claws!

Was approximately 4 feet away! Thank goodness for electric fences!
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Behind The Lens

Location
This was taken at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center (https://www.alaskawildlife.org/), a not-for-profit sanctuary dedicated to preserving Alaskan animals. In that center, there is a very large brown bear habitat with three brown bears. This bear was lying on the edge of the habitat, very near the fenceline, hiding from the other two bears.
Time
I do not recall exactly what time of day it was, but in late April, it was still cold and there was plenty of snow and ice on the ground.
Lighting
This was a little tricky due to the combination of factors. Luckily, with a light overcast and being during the day, there was plenty of available light to make the shot. However, I was in a very shady area, lying flat on my side on the ground, in the snow, with my zoom lens extended to 400mm, using f/13 to capture as much detail in the bear as possible, all while handholding the camera.
Equipment
I used my Canon 6D paired with the Canon 100-400 f/4.5 - 5.6L IS II.
Inspiration
I watched the bear roll around in the snow and ice for about 10 minutes, when suddenly her two older and bigger siblings began walking towards her. She immediately dropped into a low lying position and it felt like she was playing peek-a-boo with them. She kept covering her eyes with her paws and it absolutely cracked me up watching this behavior. With her being about 4 feet away and both of us (oddly) feeling extremely comfortable with each other, I knew I had a very short amount of time to get a unique shot.
Editing
Not very much post-processing was involved and was done in LightRoom. I spent some time pulling up the shadows a touch to add details in the fur and eyes. I did most of the work on sharpening...trying to find that right balance.
In my camera bag
It really is dependent on what I am shooting that day, but my bag always has my 6D, 24-105 f/4L, and my 100-400 f/4.5L II (mentioned above). I also normally bring my Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Distagon (which has quickly become my favorite lens). I normally carry my Manfrotto tripod with as well but decided not to this day.
Feedback
I believe what made this shot work so well is the angle of the capture. I could have easily stood and shot down on the bear from a normal vantage point. However, I do not feel it would have evoked much emotion and drama. But by putting myself in a challenging and uncomfortable position, I put myself on the same plane as my subject and created an entirely different mood. Also, when working with brown bears, make sure there is a very strong electric fence between you and it! Happy shooting!

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