Gales, Wolves, and Grizzlies. September With the BBC FIlm Crew.

bbc remote camp, alaska peninsula, bear documentary,

The storm suddenly breaks, and we are bathed in sweet autumn sunlight.

Naps, wood stove heat and real food have taken on new value for me during this last week since I arrived home from a month on the Alaska Peninsula, guiding a BBC film crew working on a documentary on brown bears.   September is hit or miss for weather in this region-the last 2 years it was pleasant, warm and dry, but this year our crew experienced the gales of October a month early.

The incessant rain and wind made living uncomfortable, but it didn’t slow the cameramen down.  The crew,  handpicked by the BBC for this project, includes some of the best wildlife cinematographers and producers on earth.  Most of the crew made a global name for themselves by contributing to Planet Earth, Frozen Planet, and numerous other “blue-chip” Natural History blockbusters.  These are not only the most skilled guys, they are also the toughest.  Hurricane force winds, and weeks of living in tents in cold, wet conditions do not phase, slow down or scare these guys.




Check out some footage I shot during one of the numerous storms which battered us during our time in the wilderness on the Alaska peninsula during a particularly stormy autumn, in a land infamous for violently stormy autumns.

It was a huge honor to be working with such a cast and crew of modern legends who dedicate their lives to presenting the natural world to the public in the finest form.  The team consisted of Barry Britton (Life of Birds, Planet Earth),  Matt Aeberhard (Crimson Wings) Mark Smith( Planet Earth, Frozen Planet) , Rolf Steinmann (North America, Puma, Wild Arabia), remote camera specialists Nick Turner and Tom Hooker (Night), Series Producer and team leader Jeff Wilson (Planet Earth, Frozen Planet), producers Dave Marks (Wild Arabia, Human Planet) , Sam Taylor  and Justin Kelly (Gold Rush) all operating the master control of Executive Producer Vanessa Berlowitz (Frozen Planet, Planet Earth).  Best of all for me was yet another opportunity to work with my long-time close friend and fellow bear lover Chris Morgan (Bears Of the Last Frontier), a conservationist who has recently become one of the top wildlife film presenters of today.   I must also mention the pleasure to work with fellow guides Buck Wilde, Dave Bacharach, John Mitchell and John Hechtel.  This was quite a team.  I cant discuss any of the details of the production, which should be out this spring, but I can say we obtained footage and perspectives of the grizzly that will stun the millions of viewers who will watch it on BBC, Discovery Channel, and ZDF.  As always, the land and the wildlife performed miracles for us.  Ill let the images due the talking.

image of bear and wolf together, alaska, picture, photo, grizzly bear and wolf, brad josephs

A wolf cruises along the river looking for salmon scraps, and detours to check us out.

image, picture, photo of alaskan wolf, brad josephs

Wolf with glacier behind him pauses to observe the rare presence of humans in his territory.

rolf stienman and a wolf

A wolf passes by Rolf, and checks out his impressive camera.

Throughout September I was assigned to guide Rolf Stienman, an up-in-coming legend of the industry from Germany.   He is currently the only wildlife cameraman who uses the Alexa Arry, a camera normally used for cinema productions.  It is quite a challenge to operate this monster of a camera in the field, but the quality of his work is superior.  Check out his blog post describing the project.

The wolf studies us with a focused, intense, golden-eyed gaze from 15 feet away. Primeval, raw and haunting.

The wolf yawns, unimpressed and unafraid.

One last glance before he follows potentials to the north of us.

Termination dust swirls amind the rugged peaks above us in a rare, brief break between storms.


grizzly bear, alaska, picture, brad josephs, bbc

Female grizzly testing the air for distant fish and danger.

grizly in the ocean, brad josephs

Big sea, big sky, big grizzly, twilight.

A coastal grizzly prowls the river-mouth as darkness slides in.

Wild skies over wild country.

Rolf at sunrise.

Sun-rays break out and dry our camp on a brisk afternoon.

A fox stopped by and observed our camp one afternoon.

Rolf and producer Dave Marks (Wild Arabia, Human Planet)

Blue skies!


Bear and a silver salmon

Rolf Steinmann and Dave Marks, BBC, Alaska

Rolf Steinmann (right) and Dave Marks, BBC, Alaska


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  1. David Sherman says:

    Great pic’s and video.
    Will you let us know when the show be available.

  2. Christa Hotz says:

    You guys are tough! Beautiful shots, too.

  3. marcia goldstein says:

    WOW! Congratulations on completing this monumental task! I hope your wife told you how much we enjoyed meeting her and savoring her delicious food!
    Best always,

  4. Great photographs Brad! I specially love the one of the bear silhouette in the twilight. Pretty awesome. We almost went to Alaska this summer but didn’t get enough miles so we ended up swimming with whale sharks and turtles in Mexico. Not bad, but I would have loved to see the wolves in Alaska. Next year!!!

  5. Linda Galvin says:

    Thanks so much. Wonderful photos and I would love to know when the BBC show is planned

  6. Bruce Marshall says:

    It was a pleasure meeting you, Dave & Rolf and I hope all of our paths may cross again. Your farewell words over the radio were appreciated and I wish all of you the very best.
    So grateful for the wild places, Bruce

  7. […] guide Brad Josephs wrote a nice article about the shoot on his blog with lots of amazing photos. Click here to read it! Tweet © 2011 rolf steinmann blog Designed by Wpshower / Powered by WordPress […]

  8. I can only echo what durable Bruce Marshall said above. Great to meet the three of you. A world class crew in a world class place. I look forward to viewing your extraordinary efforts – soon I hope. May the bears rule here for eternity.

    Best to you all- Brad, David, Rolf, and Buck.


  9. Linda Hart says:

    I have been captivated reading and seeing the photos on your blog. We will be in Alaska this summer and are only spending 3 nts, July 21-23,2013 in Homer. We cannot afford to do the amazing trip with Natural Habitat but would love to at least spend a day bear viewing. Do you have a recommendations on who we could contact? Even day trips are very expensive.

    1. Brad Josephs says:

      hey Linda, yeah, I can help you. shoot me an email

  10. Steven Roose says:

    Are these tents from the Quechua brand?

  11. please stop killing wolves, bears. this is there world just leave them alone. remember god made them for a reason. he made animals before he made man.

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