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It's a Polar Bear!


Posted by Steve Kaluski on Mon Sep 02, 2019 2:20 pm

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OK, so just back after a gruelling 16 day trip, 14 in Svalbard where shooting 24/7 began to take it's toll and often surreal - photographing Walruses at 1.00AM, Sunsets at 2.30AM and Polar bears at ANY time... Certainly the best trip I have ever had out of three in the Svalbard archipelago. All ships it transpired sailed north, but we decided due to the weather reports, pack ice, expertise, knowledge of the captain and some good hunches to sail South around the main island and then NE, getting to just above 81 degrees towards the end of the trip, this turned out to be a 'masterful' stroke with over 20 bear sightings at very close quarters. 

Weather, well it was dam cold and one day the whole ship was shrouded in ice which gave a different opportunity in what to photograph whilst sailing through the pack ice!!! 

And so, just to get the ball rolling here is an adult male who came to investigate us. He was resting up on the pack ice and so we slowly, very slowly edged our way towards him and then allowing the pack ice to stop us, where upon our scent and curiosity got the better of him.

Thanks to those who posted or viewed on the last posting.

Steve

Subject: Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus) resting on the pack ice just below the bow of the ship
Location: Svalbard
Camera: Canon EOS 5DMKIV
Lens: 100-400f/4MKII HH
* Exposure: 1/2500s at f/8 ISO1000 Lee 100 CPL filter
Original format: Landscape, slight crop from the top and RHS
Processed via: LRCC Classic & PSCC2019
* Here you have to read your Histogram otherwise your exposures will be way off

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by Charles Gangas on Mon Sep 02, 2019 8:07 pm
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He looks pretty relaxed Steve, but watching your every move. Great eye contact and perfect exposure-terrific capture.

Best,

Chuck
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by Steve Kaluski on Tue Sep 03, 2019 4:06 am
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Wow, hi Chuck, how are things going???

You get bears who are relaxed and chilled and then you get bears who just like to keep their distance, fortunately the encounters were more relaxed and chilled generating some cool stuff. Sadly it's all tinged with the trophy hunters & skins for sale, we just seem hell bent on destroying both the animals that share our habitat & this planet!

Cheers
Steve
 

by owlseye on Tue Sep 03, 2019 6:20 pm
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Stunning photograph Steve. The bear is just beautiful, as is your compositional choice.

cheers,
bruce
 

by Steve Kaluski on Wed Sep 04, 2019 4:19 am
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Thanks Bruce, I do have a soft spot for Bears and shooting both in Svalbard and the subjects is a lovely departure from say India and definitely Africa. It's certainly much hard to photograph subjects because unlike Africa these guys constantly roam in a white environment and nothing is a given. Africa is so easy and less challenging for sure, but it's nice to be able to have choices.
 

by Carol Clarke on Wed Sep 04, 2019 6:11 am
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He doesn't look too impressed at having an audience, but nice view and facial detail especially in the uncompressed view, Steve. A shame the light was rather flat but you made the best of it and it sounds like you had a good trip!

Carol.
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by Steve Kaluski on Wed Sep 04, 2019 6:33 am
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A shame the light was rather flat but you made the best of it and it sounds like you had a good trip!

Thanks Carol and yes, the best trip out of three. He was in the slight shadow of the bow of the ship, however in these conditions, being slightly overcast works in your favour as the light isn't harsh, avoiding issues with HL's and and is far easier to control in both camera & in PP.
 

by Arindam Bhattacharya on Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:13 am
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Fantastic capture with great control of exposure. TFS.
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by Cynthia Crawford on Tue Sep 10, 2019 5:35 am
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So nice to see a healthy, relaxed bear. What a wonderful trip!
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