Following on my last post I have to reiterate that I am cautious around grizzlies. It is amazing how fast any bear can move so it is important to know where your vehicle is (and it had better be close), or stay in your vehicle or have watched the bear for awhile to try to ascertain if it is uncomfortable with your presence. Grizzlies during the fall feeding, when they need 20,000 calories a day to get ready for winter, are less concerned with people or rather are more focussed on food therefore more willing to tolerate us.
I still feel badly being in their space at this time of year and hate it when people trail after them along the river, engines running. Courtesy for the bear is always needed. That said, I was there photographing the bear, trying to be inconspicous.
As it happened this bear continued along the bank, towards us (on the other side of the river). And I continued to shoot photos.
Then it headed across the river in our direction. And here started the problems. First, it didn’t bother to check if the line of sight was clear for my photo taking. So there are some leaves in the way, resulting in less than clear shots! Sigh..
I moved back just in case it planned to continue up the river bank, which it didn’t.
Remembering that I was using in effect a 600mm lens, this is where the main problem arose. I also had a polarizing filter in the lens so my fastest f-stop was down to 5.6. Conflict starts when you want depth of field to get more of the bear in focus. At the same time you want to be able to freeze any movement the bear makes. Not really compatible or achievable. This time, I had planned for detail so had a smaller f-stop to start with which was fine on the other side of the river with more light. As it came across the river the conditions changed. And so…
He caught a fish just about below me! Wow! Attacked it with vigour (poor fish), ripping off its head, gulping it down, relishing every morsel as the remnants of the fish built up around its mouth. Sounds great, but….if only I had had a shorter lens…
Too much blur. Another lesson taught but I don’t think I could have changed lenses (and my other camera didn’t have a correct lens for the situation either) fast enough.
As I said, sometimes I’m envious of people in a blind…….