Trough time...

Posted by Steve Kaluski on Sun Oct 13, 2019 7:38 am

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We had a quick heads up from the sister vessel that they had an encounter with a mother and two cubs, feeding on the remnants of a large Walrus, so late, in the warm afternoon light we launched the two zodiacs and went to investigate. This time space was of a premium and not knowing what distances we may have to work in, I took the 500 with the 1.4, and MK4 in case of cropping, but with hindsight I wished I had taken the 100-400 with the 1DX 2 as we got incredibly close, frame rate is far better and no need to crop, however...

The wind was strong and the sea, choppy which created a real hard task to frame, let alone shoot in, so highish SS was required. As we approached the shoreline the three Polar Bears were high up on land, looking down at us, but the sea kept pushing us closer and closer to shore, not what we wanted for obvious reasons. After a few minutes the two cubs made their way down, curious with our presence, Mum followed, all wishing to have more nibbles on the diminishing carcass. Arctic Foxes were also feeding on the skull about 8m away, but kept their distance from the PB's. 

Here the second cub took a breather, fur covered in dry blood as the other one just got his head tucked well into the rib cage. There was nothing much left of the Walrus and we think it died of natural causes because it would have been too big for the PB's to take on, but worth stopping by to build up fat reserves.

After both us & the PB's had their fill, all three PB's disappeared off into the distance. Once back on board, gear & zodiacs stowed away, we say another solitary bear coming in, so not sure if it was an adult male and this is why Mum & cubs left the area.

Thanks to those who viewed or commented on the previous posting.


Subject: Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) feed on Walrus carcass
Location: Svalbard
Camera: Canon 5D MKVI
Lens: 500 f/4 MKII HH
Exposure: 1/2000s at f/8 ISO2000 
Original format: Portrait, almost FF
Processed via: LRCC Classic & PSCC2019

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by SantaFeJoe on Sun Oct 13, 2019 9:34 am
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Very detailed image, but I would prefer to see some eyes.

Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.  -Pablo Picasso

by Steve Kaluski on Sun Oct 13, 2019 10:04 am
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'Very detailed image, but I would prefer to see some eyes.'

Joe, as the head is facing into the sun, therefore what happens is that we close out eyes, or squint, so sadly, here no real 'visible' eye.

by Carol Clarke on Sun Oct 13, 2019 4:07 pm
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A realistic capture of a polar bear banquet! I agree somewhat with Joe, it would be great to see the eyes of the bear on the right just peeping over the carcass. Excellent detail.

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by fincher on Sun Oct 13, 2019 10:44 pm
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Such a cool scene. Well done!

by Cynthia Crawford on Wed Oct 16, 2019 6:42 am
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Excellent behavior illustration. I don't mind the squint- seems real to me.
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