Free Shipping on ALL Products
camera reviewsbest cameraslens reviewsphotography tipscamera forumvideo toursphotography bookssupport me
It is currently Thu Oct 23, 2014 1:31 pm

All times are UTC




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 19 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Sat Aug 21, 2010 8:31 am 
Offline
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2005 3:32 pm
Posts: 9975
Location: Queenstown, New Zealand
Brooks Falls in Alaska is arguably the best place to see bears fishing for salmon. Doesn't ring any bells? How about the image of a bear catching a salmon flying through the air which most of us have seen on wildlife TV shows? Chances are that was taken at Brooks Falls.

Image

It's a place I've always wanted to visit, and I finally made it a reality in July 2010 when I tried to capture some shots of the fishing bonanza that's the annual salmon run.

Find out how I got on in Photographing the bears at Brooks Falls.

In the article you'll find out about the equipment I used and the actual logistics of getting there. All the photos and videos in the article are my own, taken on the day I visited. None have been post-processed and most haven't been cropped either in order to indicate the kind of images possible with the equipment I took with me.

Hope you enjoy it!

Gordon


Last edited by Gordon Laing on Tue Aug 24, 2010 4:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 21, 2010 2:10 pm 
Thank you Gordon, that's great information I never thought of shooting bears on a river. It's a sad end for the salmon (swimming back where life started to end it) talk about a suicidale destiny. Thn again I enjoy fishing, and I love salmon... maybe it's a destination where I should consider.
Thank's again Gordon for sharing your Alaskan bear trip.

other bear idea that I would love to do. http://www.frontier-canada.co.uk/category.php?a=1&b=2&c=3&d=0&e=0


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 21, 2010 9:38 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat May 29, 2010 11:27 pm
Posts: 773
Location: Toronto, Canada
It's a great article, thanks Gordon! Good to know that you managed to make the most out of your day there and got those shots despite all the problems.

Alaska is definitely one of the most amazing places on Earth...

lowliferider, yeah Churchill is the polar bear capital of the world. :)

_________________
Flickr


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 3:54 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 3:18 am
Posts: 1781
Location: Nova Scotia Canada
Holy wow Gordon!!!!! :shock:
I'm green with envy 8)

Great article...

Now how was it?...scale of 1-10?

Wanna come up and try some blackbears with no fences or outfitter/insurance rules or liability waivers?... :wink:

_________________
Pentax K-5
Pentax 18-55mm,Pentax 50-200mm,Sigma 17-70mm,Sigma 70-300mm, Sigma 50-500mm
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 9:13 pm 
Offline
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2005 3:32 pm
Posts: 9975
Location: Queenstown, New Zealand
Thanks for your comments everyone!

Hi kpr, on a scale of 1-10, I'd give it an 11!

It absolutely delivered the goods, and even with just one hour at the falls, I achieved everything I wanted, which as you know is pretty good in terms of wildlife photography. I'm also no expert at wildlife photography, but was very pleased with the results.

Having almost walked into several bears on the paths though, I'm not sure I'd like to come across many more in the wild!

I would however love to see some polar bears at some point... but that's going to be an even more expensive trip!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2010 4:11 am 
Offline
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2005 3:32 pm
Posts: 9975
Location: Queenstown, New Zealand
PS - I've updated the article with more information and a section on video with a selection of clips filmed on the day...


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2010 10:36 am 
Congrats on making that dreamed journey of yours, and thanks for sharing your experience (and great shots) with us. :D


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2010 1:14 pm 
Being offline for quite a while, when I saw that post on my Facebook I just had to come back. :D

Congratulations on the trip and pictures, Gordon! The 7D and 100-400L is a killer combo and I see you managed to bring home very nice videos and photos!

Could you please write in the report a bit more information about the trip? Like how many days you should stay, where to go, which is the best part of July to go (start, middle or end), how expensive it is... I am sure it will help many wildlife photogs like me ;)


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2010 6:19 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 5:06 am
Posts: 1977
very cool Gordon!

I've got the chance to go to the Great Bear Rain Forest at the end of September to catch the same thing... Grizzlies and Spirit Bears fishing for salmon... hopefully I get the chance at similar shots.... cant wait to get there!!! ... even though I just got home last night after over a month away :shock:

Didnt have a chance to read your entire writeup yet but one thing I find really important when shooting wildlife on either coast is some kind of rain cover for the camera... especially as you get closer to the fall season.... Lots of rain at that time of year on either coast of Canada/Alaska.

Also make sure you bring the proper cloths as if you do get bad weather you will be absolutely miserable if you dont have the proper cloths/gear. Especially if you are not used to the climate... I remember watching a show on a photographer from south africa going to BC to shoot grizzlies and even though he had the proper gear he became totally depressed after a few days of constant rain and cool temps. Imagine if he wasn't geared properly.

Trips like this take quite a bit of planning even if you go through a tour operator.

If you did mention it I appologize for touching on it again.

Gordon.. regarding your Polar Bear dream.... if you are ever serious let me know... I have connections in Churchill with several outfitters who I have worked with before on different outings.... one of which doesnt involve the tundra buggies so they will get you a lot closer on snow mobiles... even though you wont be as comfortable you will get a lot closer and a lot more personal with the bears in a more natural setting/away from the beaten track that the tundra buggies take daily.

Many photographers on Polar Bear assignments are also starting to comment that some of the best encounters they are having are in Labrador in the spring as they are coming off the ice.... It's not a tourist thing yet so the outings are pretty rough and bare bones but The results I hear are amazing.

_________________
Canon 7D + 50D + EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM + EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM + EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM
Pelican // Black Rapid // Think Tank // Manfrotto // Garmin

Reflections On Canadian Wildlife
My Flickr


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2010 9:16 pm 
Offline
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2007 6:30 pm
Posts: 6953
Location: The Netherlands, Ridderkerk
Great article Gordon, and nice photos of the bears too! I can see why you wanted to make that trip!

- Bjorn -

_________________
Street and documentary photographer | Google+ | Twitter

Leica M9-P (my article on Camera Labs) | Leica D-Lux 5 | 50mm Summilux


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2010 9:43 pm 
Offline
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2005 3:32 pm
Posts: 9975
Location: Queenstown, New Zealand
Thanks everyone!

Alex, did you get a chance to read the page about getting there with Katmailand? There's lots of info there, although I'll add some tips at the end. The best time to go is when the salmon run is at its peak, and that's sometime in July, but no-one knows exactly when! It could be late or early. As I said on that page, I'd recommend camping there for a few days if you can. I went on a day trip and that's a big gamble if there's delays.

Hi Wolfsong, thanks! I wish you luck with your trip in September - and on a side-note, I loved your humpback whale photos! That's really good advice about rain protection - I'll add that to the tips. As a seasoned hiker, I was fully waterproof, but I didn't have additional coverings for the camera - good tip. As for polar bears, I will definitely contact you when the time comes for that trip!

Gordon


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2010 4:53 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat May 29, 2010 11:27 pm
Posts: 773
Location: Toronto, Canada
Wolfsong, let me guess - the South African photographer that you are talking about is Austin Stevens right? :P I love his shows; such an amazing guy. I have a lot of respect for him for what he does - risking his life to go face to face with some of the most dangerous animals and photograph them up close.

_________________
Flickr


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2010 6:54 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 5:06 am
Posts: 1977
yup.. thats the guy eVolutioN

_________________
Canon 7D + 50D + EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM + EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM + EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM
Pelican // Black Rapid // Think Tank // Manfrotto // Garmin

Reflections On Canadian Wildlife
My Flickr


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2010 7:43 pm 
Wolfsong... could I ever ask for information concerning the bear outing in the Labrador (I'm in Quebec since last December).

Gordon thank you again for the great article of your expedition in Alaska, I forward it to a friend living in Valdez.


Top
  
 
PostPosted: Sun Aug 29, 2010 8:12 am 
I was sorry to hear about Gordon's experiences at Katmai National Park. Although the tight time was probably weather-related, it certainly sounds as though the people should have tried to be more pleasant.

FWIW, the flying in this part of Alaska has been generally dangerous throughout the summer of 2010 because of unusually bad flying weather for the past several months. This seems to be an El Nino related condition. Many experienced pilots have been killed in the past two months because of bad weather conditions and in fact a Katmai National Park plane with four persons aboard is still missing despite a week of intensive search. Personally, I've mostly stayed on the ground this summer.

There are other, less-expensive bear viewing options for visitors. Many air taxi flights leave out of the modern airports at Soldotna, Kenai, and Homer. These small but modern cities are located on the Kenai Peninsula and are only a few hours drive from Anchorage. Air taxi flights can be chartered from Soldotna and Kenai to Big River Lakes, which is less crowded than Katmai. As a bonus, you can fish there yourself during the sockeye (red) salmon season. Depending upon the size of the salmon run, the daily limit is 3-6 fish. Big River Lakes are located just north of Redoubt Volcano, mostly recently active in 2009.

From Homer, Alaska, it's a relatively short float plane trip to the famous McNeil River bear viewing area just north of Katmai National Park or to Hallo Bay, which is located on the Gulf of Alaska coast on the eastern side of Katmai National Park.

Some private bear biologists are available to accompany viewers. One Soldotna biologist, Dr. Steve Stringham, has recently written several books about bear behavior. He can be reached at gobearviewing@hotmail.com.


Top
  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 19 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  

All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2012 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.
/ How we test / Best Cameras / Advertising / Camera reviews / Supporting Camera Labs

Webdesign by Alphabase IT
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group