Locations: New York City; Amazonas, Brazil; British Columbia, Canada; Katmai National Park, Alaska; Astoria, Oregon; Vava’u, Tonga; Auckland, New Zealand; Southern Africa: Namibia, Botswana and South Africa
Namibia is the photographic gift that keeps on giving. While I have been to the Sossus dunes many times, the Serra Cafema and Ongava Reserve were new to me. The wildlife is tremendous and the dusty atmosphere is magical.
Wow! I hate being out of contact for so long! Connectivity has been a struggle and I was just able to upload a few photos from my recent shoot in the Duba Plains of the Okavango Delta. We were the only people to see a lion and buffalo take down in weeks, so I feel extremely fortunate. Over the course of ten days we also were able to photograph gorgeous leopards and magnificent herds of elephants. Perhaps, it isn’t so bad to be out of touch after all!
Fabled and feared, rescued and reared— bears, through time have experienced human impact, both negative and positive. Indeed, the current circumstance of these impressive creatures reflects our behavior, depth of understanding, and attitude towards them.
In this Special Edition we share the perspective of photographers, explorers, scientists and those dedicated to the conservation of bears and their habitat worldwide. Their stories and images reflect the diverse nature of bears, the vital role they play in the health of an ecosystem, their spiritual significance and reverence to native culture. These are but some of the aspects explored through first-hand encounters and expressive photos which capture intimate moments of bears in the wild.
Viewed through a global prism encompassing past, and present with expert insight on the future— we open a much wider window, into the world of bears.
Deepest gratitude to all who contributed, for enriching this issue with your knowledge and experience. You have helped provide a global perspective that I hope will raise awareness and support for our beloved bears.
My bag arrived in time for one day’s shoot. We had just five days over the water and four of them were just too windy and the whales were very shy. There was one, though, who would stay on the ocean bottom where we barely could see him and then every 20 minutes he would come up for air. Our trick was to swim like hell to intersect him when he reached the surface without being clobbered. I got three chances, and during one, I guessed right and he came up just in front of me. I could have grabbed his tail and gone for a ride. Now I am off for the Duba Plains in Botswana; hopefully, my bags will make it with me! Stay tuned!
As many of you know by now, my trip to Tonga marks the first time in decades of rugged and remote travel that my bags have not made it with me. Thwarted by airlines, mechanical troubles, and weather, I have one camera, no underwater gear, the clothes on my back and boatloads of frustration. Thank you to Darren Jew who has been stellar in allowing me to use his equipment so the trip wouldn’t be a complete and total washout.
Sockeye salmon run thick in the rivers and streams of Katmai. However, these fish are smart. I was unable to capture the shots I wanted of the fish since they were very agitated by the bears hunting them. The bears work in unison, churning the water, then snagging the confused fish in their powerful jaws.
Katmai National Park is one of my go-to places for bears. It is extraordinary to say the least & the scenery isn’t too shabby either. In particular, I was able to photograph a sow & her two cubs. She looked at me, looked at her cubs, and sat down as if giving me permission.
My friends and I had a great time wandering around various parts of the Salish Sea in search of orca whales. While we did finally spot 8 transient whales on our adventure it takes either really good light or unusual behaviors such as spy hopping and breaching the surface to make the photo and alas we had neither that day. To really photograph orcas takes a bit of luck (which I often have) and a lot of time (which I never have). I have been fortunate enough to see them in Antarctica, Argentina, New Zealand, Norway, and Alaska and I was hoping to have some shots of them in my own back yard for my next book project but it wasn’t to be this time around.