Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Sleeping bear

Sleeping brown bear along the banks of the Brooks river, Katmai National Park, Alaska.
Canon 1Ds Mark II, 500mm f4.0L IS, 1/13 sec @ f25, ISO 250

Wildlife photography includes lots of waiting. This is the non-glamorous attribute of the occupation. There are of course plenty of other attributes essential to the career, like persistence, logistics, research, etc., but the waiting part is always a challenge, especially when your subject wants to take a nap. Sure, I could take a nap too, but not when I'm standing waist high in the water, which I was doing when i took this photo. It happened to be extremely windy, and to capitalize on the wind's visually obscure presence, I experimented with slow shutter speeds (since the bear was not moving) to reveal this otherwise hidden dynamic. While I don't generally find sleeping animals interesting photo subjects, the blur in the grass reveals a contrast between a peacefully sleeping bear and the violent windy environment in which it rests.

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