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JayinMN

Collection of Cub Shots.

20 posts in this topic

I doubt anyone has to a take a guess where I took these, but it is still a great place to visit and watch bears up close.

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Baby Bear toes.

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Man, those are some great shots Jay!! 4,5 and 6 are my favs.

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Who cares where you got them, as long as you got shots that tell such stories. I LO-O-O-OVE the second. They have this perfect look of affection for each other. And baby bear toes??? Who can resist that photo.

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Great shots! I love #4, it just looks so content watching what is going on.

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those are great. I will have to show them to the kids.

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What a great series Jay. My pic would be 2 and 6 but the are all sweet. if I had to guess it would be the bog wink

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Quote:
What a great series Jay. My pic would be 2 and 6 but the are all sweet. if I had to guess it would be the bog?

Nope, Vince Shutte's Bear Sanctuary. I have never actually seen a bear in the bog yet.

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Lovely images, Jason.

It's harder to photograph wild black bears (unless they are baited or coming regularly to a man-made food source) than it is to photograph wild wolves. I have exactly one decent photograph of a wild (unbaited) bear in over six years of effort. I've got quite a few more decent images of wild wolves.

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I know what you mean Steve. Every bear I have come up on in the forest has taken off as soon as it knew I was present. I got a few decent shots of a non-baited bear at the Rice Lake Wildlife Refuge last summer, but I suspect she was accustomed to humans.

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What beautiful images Jay - If I had to pick a favorite it's the the last one -- those little feet are really special! I've got the Shutte sanctuary on my list of place to get to one of these days. We always seem to be in the area early in the day. Thanks for sharing your work.

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Excellent series sir!! Number four just kills, love the way the light illuminates the fur, very warm, relaxed, facial details are perfect, catchlight, etc... that one has it all imo.

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If you have the money, you can contact the refuge and they will allow you to pay a fee to photograph the bears all day long from ground level. Otherwise you're limited to standing high up on the observation deck and shooting down at the bears during regularly scheduled tours. The fee is significant, but it helps the sanctuary fund the feed for the bears, and wildlife photographers time out of mind have taken advantage of this type of situation to get compelling images that move people without spending years and years and years of effort.

Ground level generally kicks butt on standing 15 feet in the air, as we all know, but there also are photo opps from the deck when bears stand all the way up on their hind legs and rub against trees, or when they are far enough off that the angle appears more flat, or when they climb a tree near the deck, which they sometimes do.

I was shooting on the ground when I was there. You sign a legal release, and they give you pointers on how to handle yourself. While these bears are very accustomed to people, they are still wild animals. There was one young bear in particular that had been acting somewhat aggressively, according to the briefing I got, and sure enough he came right up on me and I had to back away, talking in a relaxed tone, and holding my monopod out so he had to dodge around it to get to me. He lost interest after a couple minutes, but you don't want even a 150 lb bear swatting at your head.

Later in the day, a 300-pound fella came ambling right toward my client and I, and we backed away talking in the prescribed manner until we were back up right against a dense wall of forest and couldn't back any more. As the bear continued to approach, when it got 10 feet away I took a single step toward it and held up my hand and said "stop!" It did, and then turned and went away. The client could hardly stop giggling. She said she'd hardly seen anything funnier than that in her whole life. It got me laughing, too, probably as a way to relieve nervous tension.

I think those two instances in the same day were more drama than is typical at the refuge. smilesmile

And of course the biggest danger at the refuge is putting your foot into a puddle of berry bear doo-doo. It ain't no cakewalk shooting these critters. gringringrin

Some of the good news is that you absolutely don't need supertelephoto in most situations if you're down on the ground with the bears, where 200mm is plenty, and sometimes too much.

Jay, it's way cool you got cubs. The day I was there, no females with cubs came in, and that was what I'd been hoping to get. I'll second Shawn's picks, for the reasons he mentioned and also because the color temp is warmer in those images, which I generally like better than cooler color temps. Again, sweet work.

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I am surprised you didn't see any cubs. Did you go earlier in the season? I bet if you went right now you would see cubs for sure. I tend to concentrate on cub shots from the viewing deck for the reasons you pointed out, looking down on a them is not the best angle and even then the grassy field is almost "zooish" or adds a degree of captivity to it. The cubs go up and down the trees next to the deck so you can get better angles of them and its a more natural setting. Saturday was one of the days those days were it rained 5 minutes was sunny for another 5 and rained again so there was a variety of lighting to work with.

I know which bear you are taking about, when you speak of the young aggressive acting one. He is either not coming there this year or has really improved his behavior according to the staff and they don't recognize him. I asked about him last weekend. When I was there last year he almost got onto the deck, was chasing small cubs around which made the sows chase after him and then he was also knocking over tripods and playing the the photographers equipment down below.

If nothing else comes up this weekend I may take another trip up there.

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Great shots Jay

I remember being there when all that was there was a mobile home and small open area. You drove in, rolled down the window and tossed out your offering to the bears laugh

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Jay, it was in early September if memory serves. Not a cub in sight, snd we were there on the ground from beginning shooting light to ending shooting light.

Just the luck of things. I did get a great shot of old three legs standing on his hind legs and scratching his back against a tree. Because the deck is pretty low and he was some distance off and his nose was only a few feet below me, the angle looks pretty flat.

All in all I'd do it again. It's a great experience, and you got some great images. I may have to do just the evening off the deck part.

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