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Steve Foss

In the company of bears

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I spent a day with another photographer at the Vince Shute Wildlife Refuge outside Orr yesterday.

The bears there are wild and unrestrained, but they are conditioned to people by being fed daily at more than a score of feeding stations around the refuge. For a fee, photographers can prowl the grounds in and among the bears, places the general public can't go, and there are a lot of photographic opportunities. The facility is not set up for photographers. Meaning there are limited opps to get pictures of bears without "hand of man" elements in the photo, but as the bears move in and out of the woods, there are many possibilities.

Taking pictures of black bears on a sunny day in dappled light presents its own exposure challenges, but it was a great day, and quite an experience to be that close to bears.

You'll not that the big-gun lenses are not necessary, with 200 to 300mm being plenty.

Fully alert

Canon 30D, Canon 70-200 f2.8L, Canon 1.4 teleconverter, iso400, 1/100, f4, monopod, 280mm

2746949838_582c5cf1d2_o.jpg

Three-legs scratches

Canon 5D, Canon 400 f4 DO IS, monopod, 1/125 at f4, handheld

2746117337_ca3e1f298d_o.jpg

I see you

30D, 70-200, TC, iso400, 1/100 at f4, monopod, 280mm

2746951026_3296435865_o.jpg

In the V

30D, 70-200, iso400, 1/320 at f2.8, monopod, 200mm

2746116269_3d0cdf383a_o.jpg

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When we talked the other day about you "shooting bare" and "overexposing", I got kind of an unpleasant picture in my mind! gringrin These are much more pleasant images!

Seriously, well done. Love the expression on three-legs face. I've been there!

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Cool pics! I have a few pictures of a 3-legged bear from back in 2001 when I was there. Same front left leg. I wonder if it is the same bear? That was back when you just drove in and they had a wooden deck we walked up on. I hear it's a little bigger now and you have to ride a shuttle bus in.

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Is that your first time up there? It's a cool experience having fully grown Bears walking right past you isn't it? My thought on the whole experience was that while it was a neat experience, it was not very photogenic. Did you make sure and put the stink buckets next to your vehicles tires?

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Buzz, it was my third time up there but my first photographing down among the bears. It was quite cool, and with just a little work it wasn't too tough to find natural looking images. I've probably got over 100 nice sharp shots of bears without manmade elements in them.

And since an excursion client paid my way it was even better! gringringrin

There were a lot of buckets full of stinky stuff scattered around the parking area. We all know what a bear does in the woods. shockedshockedshocked

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