Alaska's Bears Photo Essay

Check out the June issue of Alaska magazine on stands now until July. One of my images was chosen for the double-page spread Alaska Exposed-section, and a selection of my brown bear images that I gathered during the years for a photo-essay about Alaska's brown bears.

The Alaska Exposed-section features a image of sea lions in Sadie Cove, Kachemak Bay on the Kenai Peninsula. We were photographing bald eagles when a group of sea lions popped their heads up next to the boat. They are very curious animals. I quickly put the 2.0x teleconverter on my 300mm/f2.8 lens and got right above the water with my camera to get a very intimate perspective. With the sea lions going under water and popping up at a different location it was difficult to get focus and create an image, especially laying right above the water with a long lens. I agree with the editor of Alaska magazine that "the eyes have it" in this image.

The photo essay tells the story of the brown bears in Alaska's Katmai National Park & Preserve, one of the largest parks in the state. I have visited the south side along the coast of the Shelikof Strait many times during the summer by boat, which allows you to check out a lot of bays and inlets. Geographic Harbor, Kukak Bay and Hallo Bay are great stops for encounters with brown bears. I love bears, they are dangerous apex predators, yet they look so friendly and cuddly. No bear is the same. Their faces, postures, coats and behaviors are all different making every encounter an unexpected pleasure. I really enjoy documenting the bears in their world and showing all the different behaviors in a pleasant way. The editors of Alaska magazine did a great job with the selection of images featured in this photo essay.

If you are interested in life at the last frontier, check out the great photos and stories in Alaska magazine.