This is another one of my favorite photos from my recent Polar Bear Photography Tour. I was standing next to the boat with my local Inupiat guide when this mom and cub came over to have a closer look at us. We very quickly got back in the boat, but not before I fired off a few pictures at 10fps with the Canon 1DmkIV that I borrowed from Canon Professional Services. The light was absolutely spectacular and for a moment these bears walked side by side allowing me to create this striking image. I hand-held the camera with my Canon 400mm f4 DO IS lens attached and used a right-angle view finder to get the camera as close to the ground as possible while kneeling. It is a single-exposure which was slightly cropped from the original and required minimal processing using Aperture 3 and Photoshop CS5.
I have just returned from co-leading my first Polar Bear Photography Tour in Alaska. It was an incredible success! I created some fantastic images, but more importantly, so did my clients. I can’t wait to do it again next year. I’ll be updating my website this fall with information about next year’s tours, but if anyone is still interested in photographing the polar bears this year, my partner Steve Kazlowski is available in Alaska for clients. Please email me at for more information.
This was my first time photographing polar bears. I now understand how addictive photographing them can be. On the last day of my tour, I was able to photograph this mother and cub wrestling in the snow for an hour. It was incredible watching the cub continuously jump on or slide under it’s mom. Check out those mischievous little eyes staring at it’s mom right before it pounces. I was initially frustrated that they were farther away than I would normally like to shoot, but I pulled out all of my equipment in order to get in as tight as possible. I was on a boat which required me to hand-hold my Canon 7D with my 500mm f4 IS lens plus 1.4X tele-extender. That is equivalent to an 1120mm lens! I was able to freeze the action at 1/1000 second by setting my camera to ISO 800. This image is a single-exposure which was slightly cropped and required minimal processing using Aperture 3 and Photoshop CS5.