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Clamming upright



Alaskan coastal bear yearling practicing clamming in Lake Clark National Park and Preserve.

Alaskan coastal bear yearling practicing clamming in Lake Clark National Park and Preserve.
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Awards

Contest Finalist in Picturing Other Species Photo Contest
Contest Finalist in Alaska The Wild Photo Contest
Top Shot Award
Contest Finalist in Bears Photo Contest
Contest Finalist in Wildlife And Water Photo Contest
Contest Finalist in Our Natural Planet Photo Contest
Contest Finalist in Animals And Water Photo Contest
Peer Choice Award
Contest Finalist in Monthly Pro Vol 34 Photo Contest
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Peer Award
Magnificent Capture
Absolute Masterpiece
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Top Choice
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Superb Composition
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Outstanding Creativity
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Top ClassTM

Earth Day Every Day Photo ContestTop 10 class
Picturing Other Species Photo ContestTop 10 class
The Swag ProjectTop 10 class
The Swag ProjectTop 10 class week 1
Alaska The Wild Photo ContestTop 10 class
Alaska The Wild Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1
The Wonders of the World Photo ContestTop 10 class
The Wonders of the World Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1
The Minimalist Photo ContestTop 10 class
The Minimalist Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1
Bears Photo ContestTop 10 class
Bears Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1
Wildlife And Water Photo ContestTop 10 class
Wildlife Photo Contest 2018Top 10 class
Wildlife Photo Contest 2018Top 10 class week 1
Everything Nature Photo ContestTop 10 class
Everything Nature Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1
The Talent AwardsTop 20 class
Our Natural Planet Photo ContestTop 10 class
Our Natural Planet Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1
ViewBug Photography AwardsTop 10 class
ViewBug Photography AwardsTop 10 class week 1
Animals And Water Photo ContestTop 10 class
Animals And Water Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1
Image Of The Month Photo Contest Vol 25Top 10 class
Monthly Pro Vol 34 Photo ContestTop 10 class
Monthly Pro Vol 34 Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1
Image Of The Month Photo Contest Vol 25Top 10 class week 2
Amazing Nature Photo ContestTop 20 class
Amazing Nature Photo ContestTop 20 class week 1
Image Of The Month Photo Contest Vol 25Top 10 class week 1
Wildlife Babies Photo ContestTop 30 class
Wildlife Babies Photo ContestTop 20 class week 1

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23 Comments | Report
Byronfairphotography PRO+
 
Byronfairphotography September 23, 2017
Sweet
Pidge815 PRO+
 
Pidge815 September 30, 2017
This is sooooooo fun! Great catch!
ccpence PRO+
ccpence September 30, 2017
Thanks!
Merlot
 
Merlot September 30, 2017
Great image
ccpence PRO+
ccpence September 30, 2017
Thanks!
traceystanway PRO
 
traceystanway October 01, 2017
what a absolutely charming , cute as ...shot.
ccpence PRO+
ccpence October 01, 2017
Thanks!
gbd2001
 
gbd2001 October 02, 2017
So, adorable....!
ccpence PRO+
ccpence October 02, 2017
Thanks!
gbd2001
 
gbd2001 October 02, 2017
Write a comment
joannanicholson
 
joannanicholson October 13, 2017
Beautiful capture x
lisalantrip
 
lisalantrip November 22, 2017
Perfect!
ccpence PRO+
ccpence November 22, 2017
Thanks!
susanplss-bryant PRO+
 
susanplss-bryant November 23, 2017
Such a great shot! Love it!
ccpence PRO+
ccpence November 24, 2017
Thanks!
Jknauf PRO+
 
Jknauf November 25, 2017
What a great image! It is definitely not cliche. Well done!
ccpence PRO+
ccpence November 25, 2017
Thanks! You are right that this is a rare image of these young bears.
Jknauf PRO+
 
Jknauf November 25, 2017
How did you get such a close perspective?
ccpence PRO+
ccpence November 27, 2017
These bears were busy with clamming and not very interested in humans as long as we were not between them and the sow. I shot this at FL400mm and was crouched down so I could be almost level with the bear. This one separated from the others and I turned away from the other photographers so I could focus only on this one and his clamming activity.
Jknauf PRO+
 
Jknauf November 27, 2017
I love the dangerous innocence and focus. Thanks for the background information.
ccpence PRO+
ccpence November 27, 2017
You are most welcome....if you get a chance (and have never been there or want to go again) the Lake Clark area of Alaska is a real treat for photographing wildlife and especially bears.
suekrauss.7
 
suekrauss.7 December 14, 2017
Great capture!
ccpence PRO+
ccpence December 14, 2017
Thanks, Sue.
Stellasview
 
Stellasview December 16, 2017
Can it be any more adorable?!
Christine_Thibeault PRO+
 
Christine_Thibeault January 13, 2018
This makes me melt
ccpence PRO+
ccpence January 14, 2018
Me, too!
MrJBond PRO+
 
MrJBond January 18, 2018
Incredible capture!
ccpence PRO+
ccpence January 18, 2018
Thanks. I am so pleased you like it.
5224_8884
 
5224_8884 April 24, 2018
I don’t know what captivates me about this photo, but I have returned to it several times! Thanks for sharing your work!
ccpence PRO+
ccpence April 24, 2018
I know.. this little bear captured my heart. So glad you enjoy him too.
RamyDelariarte
 
RamyDelariarte June 11, 2018
Awesome
bostonandbeyond
 
bostonandbeyond June 12, 2018
Very Cool Shot !!
LaurenLentino
 
LaurenLentino July 23, 2018
So cool 🐻
ging5407
 
ging5407 September 09, 2018
Another amazing g capture
serenaisaac
 
serenaisaac November 18, 2018
Well, this is one classy bear!
ccpence PRO+
ccpence November 18, 2018
HaHa! You are so right...unless he is just lazy or having a sore knee day.
Nathan_2007
 
Nathan_2007 December 26, 2018
I wish I had a good camera. What do you guys recommend for beginners (poor ones :p)

Behind The Lens

Location
On the west side of Cook Inlet in the Lake Clark National Park and Preserve of Alaska there is a special grassy meadow that lies between the sea and the Aleutian Mountain Range and the Chigmit Mountains. At low tide during July, the coastal brown bears saunter out to the ocean sandbar to dig for clams.
Time
On this particular July morning, low tide was around 11:00 am Alaskan time. This little yearling did his best to follow the others as they searched for clams.
Lighting
The Alaskan summer light is special. The days are long giving the animals plenty of time to take advantage of meadow grazing and sea clamming and still find time to suckle on their mothers. The light bounces off of the shallow water mirroring the sky and distant shoreline colors. Shades of purple and pink are typical at this time of year and create a nice contrast with the soft brown colors of the bear fur.
Equipment
This image was shot with the Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 (mirrorless camera) and the Leica 100-400mm lens. f/6.3 ISO200 1/800s FL400mm
Inspiration
This unusual position for clamming struck my imagination as I rotated around watching the many bears digging for food. While the sow was close by teaching her other yearling the art of clamming, this yearling struck out on his own and mastered his own version without having to sit down completely in the water. My theme this year is mothers and babies so this was an excellent example of a young bear learning to be independent.
Editing
I do very little post-processing whenever possible. While I do shoot raw and jpeg, this image is a lightly cropped jpeg with a small amount of light adjustment only. I used ACDSee Ultimate 10 for this processing.
In my camera bag
For this trip, I used a photo vest to which I attached two Panasonic camera bodies and lenses (DMC-GH5 with 100-400mm; DMC-GX8 with 35-100mm). I carried a 7-14mm and a 12-35mm in the vest along with a Nexus 6 phone, batteries, SD cards, and sunglasses. I rarely used the tripod/monopod because of the awkwardness of hopping in and out of ATV carts and walking through difficult terrain. The double stabilization in both the camera and lens in the DMC-GH5 was adequate for controlling movement during the large part of the day.
Feedback
Spend some time learning about bear habits, movements, signals and how this presents in young bears with their mothers. A few adolescent bears and a couple of boars were around but the majority of the time I was surrounded by sows and their cubs. The interaction of the cubs with each other and with their mothers is something to observe carefully long before pushing the button on the camera. Thoughtful shooting with attention to what you really want to capture makes it easier to identify the quality moments that set an interesting shot apart from the usual shot. Look at the many good images that are on the Internet of bears from this region to get an idea of what has been done before. Capturing your own take on these bears requires time and probably more than one visit to Alaska.

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