Thursday, 20 October 2011

Black Bear Diaries 2011 Part 22: The one that got away

I spent the weekend hanging around in the cold by the local creek waiting for some action to photograph. My imagination was full of images of black bears feeding on the salmon in the dense early morning and hawks on the shore line scavenging the left overs. Unfortunately those images will remain in my head for the time being. You would think the place would be full of fishing bears but not today. It wasn't until about 6pm that a bear decided to show up but by that time the light was long gone. I wasn't going to go home empty handed so I decided to see what I could do given the circumstances. This is the result from pushing the 7D and 70-200mm F2.8 IS combo....

Techs: 200MM @ F2.8// 1/100// ISO2000//
  Canon 7D with 70-200mm F2.8 IS

Image © Jamie Douglas|Photography 2011

The bear spent a few moments eyeing me up before casually making his way down the opposite river bank. I took this as my cue to retreat from the river bed and watch him fish from the top of the bank. He was a bad fisherman and certainly needs to work on his technique. 

While I was waiting for action a number of folks came by and stopped for a chat. I was lucky to have the opportunity to meet the owner of the local fish hatchery who got me up to speed on salmon. The creek is full of Chum Salmon at the moment and the Coho run will be happening shortly. Before meeting this gentleman I wasn't sure what species of salmon I was looking at.

The next guy that showed up wasn't so informative. He proceeded to tell me that the 70-200mm is too short blah blah blah for wildlife photography and the 400mm F5.6 is too slow blah blah blah. Now and again you encounter an opinionated bore or two.  The proof is in the pudding if you ask me. If the 400mm was too slow for wildlife then how would I get an image like this handholding the lens on a wet cloudy day::// ? Not to blow my own horn :)

Before I go, here is a Chum Salmon making his way up the creek. It is truly amazing watching the sheer strength and determination of each fish propel themselves up stream.

See some of my Black Bear photos in larger res here:

I have a website coming in the new year so stay posted.

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