Lake Clark Nationwide Park and Protect, Alaska

Fresh Catch, Lake Clark National Park and Preserve, Alaska
Photograph By Amy Ames

Brown bears are grizzly bears that reside alongside the coast. In the US, there are roughly 32,000 brown bears, with 95 p.c of these in Alaska. The brown bears of Prepare dinner Inlet are bigger than the common grizzly as a consequence of their wealthy weight loss plan and weigh between 800 and 1,200 kilos. Meals is plentiful in Prepare dinner Inlet from early spring till fall, together with clams which are accessible all yr alongside the seashore, however the true motion begins with the salmon run in mid to late July. From this level on, brown bears have to eat round 90 kilos of salmon a day to construct up fats reserves for winter hibernation.

In the course of the summer season of 2017, I used to be fortunate sufficient to hitch Summit Workshops and a tremendous group of photographers in Lake Clark Nationwide Park and Protect, Alaska, to view and {photograph} brown bears of their pure surroundings through the annual salmon run in Prepare dinner Inlet. Our 5 days on the Silver Salmon Creek Lodge had been an expertise that will by no means be topped—the place else are you able to see a household of brown bears meander by means of your camp one minute and seek out a salmon to feast upon on the seashore within the subsequent?

Bear viewing at Lake Clark Nationwide Park and Protect is outstanding. These bears are protected, having by no means been hunted, and have change into accustomed to individuals through the excessive season. Though we had been extraordinarily cautious to not disturb or threaten the bears, a lot of whom had cubs, we had been shut sufficient to seize wonderful pictures.

With a educated information, we headed to the seashore on ATVs every morning to search for bears that is likely to be fishing. The fishing conduct of a brown bear is an unforgettable sight. In ankle-deep water, they depend on sight, scent and sound to outrun the salmon. Typically, they catch a scent, get up on their rear legs to see if the salmon will expose itself and, as soon as noticed, take off for a fast chase that hopefully leads to a catch. There’s no strategy to absolutely plan for a photograph like this; we might solely put together by having our cameras prepared on tripods and a quick shutter pace set for when the motion began.

The mom of the cub on this photograph was on a catching spree that morning, and her cubs stood by ready for the second once they might seize a bit of the motion. When this cub was allowed, she excitedly grabbed the fish and took off working. She ran across the seashore as if she was displaying off a prize when immediately a flock of seagulls swooped in and tried to seize a scrap or two. This interplay resulted in roughly 300 pictures as a result of as soon as the thrill began, I couldn’t cease clicking the shutter. It wasn’t till I used to be on the airplane headed again to actuality that I discovered this keeper. This shot was a mix of endurance, exact timing and a quick shutter.

See extra of Amy Ames’ work at and on Instagram at @amyamesphotography.

Nikon D5, Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 500mm f/4E FL ED VR. Publicity: 1/1250 sec., ƒ/6.3, ISO 1000.


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