I am still going through a few pictures from this summer when I can stop enjoying the beautiful fall days here in Alaska. The low angle sun, leaf color, and crisp mornings are so intoxicating. I even got a great “bear fix” right in my yard yesterday afternoon as a handsome black bear meandered past me only 20 feet away! Anyway, I still miss the brown bears of the coast as I browse over my photos.
In this post I will show some of my action shots. To capture the motion of the bear, and to freeze the water droplets, I adjust my camera’s settings for a fast shutter speed. To let in enough light in the shortest amount of time, which should be at least a 1/800th of a second, I open the aperture up (also called decreasing the f-stop). By decreasing the f-stop from maybe 8 to 4 for example, my shutter speed increases from, say, 1/350th to 1/1000th. By doing this, my depth of field will decrease (shorten the distance which is in focus), but the motion will be captured. I can also take a faster picture in any given light conditions by increasing my ISO, although this may increase “noise,” or make the image less crisp.
When I am setting up my photographers for situations like this, I first make sure that we will in no way effect the bear’s well being, or ability to fish. Respect for the bears is the most important factor to consider, and I strongly believe that if you respect your subjects, they will treat you well! We never approach the bears, we always strategically set up where the bears will likely come, and let them approach us. If possible, I try to set up as low as possible, as being at eye level with the subject makes a huge difference in the image’s dramatic quality. Bears also feel much more comfortable with us when we are sitting, rather then standing.
Here are two from last year.