I don’t know if I have mentioned this before, but I am extremely envious of photographers who can go to a blind, set up their equipment (including that thing called a tripod), knowing what lens to use, and wait for their subject to turn up and then ‘shoot’.
I have no idea what that feels like but sometimes I think it would be nice. Other options for photographing wild life is to know its habits, where it roams and go there and wait for it.
Well first, I have fibromyalgia, so sitting somewhere, on hands and knees, is not that feasible. Second, I know where my wildlife (read grizzlies) roam and it is a thirty or so kilometre stretch of a river. And as for a tripod, by the time I get it out of my vehicle, get the legs stretched and the camera mounted, my wildlife is gone!
So, none of the above is that relevant for me. Yes, I’m making excuses perhaps. But sometimes all my best intentions are thwarted because I can’t do the above.
This past week was a prime example of that.
I had just returned from a brief trip and decided to go up the river to see if, by some wild chance, a grizzly was around. This was the worst spawning season on record. They think about 10,000 kokanee made it to spawn. On average there are about 100,000+, some years a million! So the odds of seeing a grizzly were mighty slim.
As we headed up the river, we were struck by how few eagles were there. In past years, I have counted up to 80+ eagles along the river. Granted it is later in the season, but we saw 5 or 6 (as you saw in my last post).
Just in case there was a bear, I had my longest lens on the camera, with a 2x teleconverter (read about 600mm in total). Rationale was the bear, if there, would most likely be on the other side of the river.
And lo and behold! We spotted a bear. Way down the river, crossing to the other side!
It started down the shore towards us, following the river. I had my camera firing off shots madly (hand held as no time for a tripod, not that I had one with me). So given the weight of the camera and lens, think about 12 lbs for a Nikon, and the length of the lens, I was somewhat challenged to keep it steady. But I kept shooting! And it continued to approach.
Stay tuned for more in my next post!
Categories: Blessings, Camera gear, dramatic, environment, fall, Grizzlies, inquisitive grizzlies, kokanee salmon, Kootenay Moments, lardeau valley, Nature Photography, Photography, River, Salmon spawn
That looks pretty scary. I made a joke at dinner about hand feeding bears some tiny snacks. But you’re super brave. i know you were safe but still, massive respect. x
It’s not being brave. It’s more a sense that they are not interested in me because they are feeding on the salmon. Also, one of the mothers has always been very tolerant of humans and unfortunately her young seem to feel the same way. I would never go into the bush at this time of year because a grizzly there would behave differently. It’s probably a somewhat false sense of security but my vehicle is always very close. Follow the rest of the story.
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I’m following you so I will see the next installation in my Reader. Thank you for responding. x
I have the same problem shooting Black Bears in Tennessee, except in my case there are too many troubling tourists bothering the bears. I like to stand back with my long lens. Excellent shots.
Tourists are becoming a big problem here too. I’m not certain there is a long enough lens to give the Bears their space.