The first morning we woke up at Lake Clark National Park, we were blanketed in a thick fog. We were allowed to head out at 6am to start photographing and the haze did not deter us. We set off in ATV’s looking for grizzlies and at one point we stopped in the meadows to capture a few images of our lodging for the week: Alaska Homestead Lodge. The owners were currently remodeling the lodge and replacing the bright white siding with an earthy brown.
Initially, it was difficult to get clear images of the bears because of the thick mist, so we had to get a little closer and focus in tight on the bears. The grasses were beautiful, tall and colorful despite the lack of rain so they added great variety to the landscape.
When we zoomed in even closer, we were able to capture clear portrait-style images of the grizzlies having their morning meal. They seemed happy with the ample grasses around and didn’t care that we were photographing them from 20-30 ft away.
As a nice reminder not to get too close, I spied some sharp teeth in her mouth as she chowed down mouthful after mouthful of luscious grass.
Although she didn’t care about the 10 photographers in front of her with large lenses and tripods, she perked up when she suspected a male grizzly off to the side.
She soon left the area and we went in search for other grizzlies and came across one crossing the stream. She paused for a quick dip in the water, giving us a second to take a shot.
Soon she climbed out of the stream, grabbing a mouthful of grass on the way. She continued to eat on that side of the stream for another 10 minutes, looking up and listening for any male grizzlies off in the distance.
Then she crossed back to the original side of the stream, continuing to eat along the way. Although I enjoyed the ominous atmosphere created by the mist in a color image, I decided to convert one image to black and white since I could contrast the dark bear against the light water.
We broke for lunch and hoped the mist would lift for our afternoon and evening sessions. We were not disappointed. Stay tuned for more! You can view these images individually and more not posted here in my portfolio located here.