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Thread: Brown Bears

  1. #1

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    Brown Bears

    Earlier this week I flew over to Katmai NP for a couple of days to shoot some bears. I'm just getting started culling photos. Here are a couple of quickies.

    D800E, 70-200 f2.8

    f/13 @ 200 mm, 1/15, ISO 100
    Brown Bears

    f/5.6 @ 200 mm, 1/1000, ISO 400
    Brown Bears

    D800E, 200-400VR

    f/5.6 @ 380 mm, 1/500, ISO 800
    Brown Bears

    f/5.6 @ 400 mm, 1/320, ISO 800
    Brown Bears

  2. #2
    Brownbear's Avatar
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    Re: Brown Bears

    Dan, these are gorgeous... Could you explain your chosen camera settings for these photos? I ask because I am going to try and photograph those Grizzly Bears at the wildlife sanctuary again, and although the Grizzlies are a lot darker I think I could learn something from this to apply to my bears...

    It looks like you were extraordinary close... How did you manage that? And how in the world did you manage to achieve silky water and a sharp beautiful bear?

    Thank you.

  3. #3
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Brown Bears

    Impressive stuff, Dan.

    Quote Originally Posted by Christina S View Post
    It looks like you were extraordinary close... How did you manage that?
    I was wondering that as well!

  4. #4
    Digital's Avatar
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    Re: Brown Bears

    Dan, real nice photos of a bear. He did not seem to mind that you were taking his "portrait".

    Bruce

  5. #5
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    Re: Brown Bears

    I've heard they don't make good pets. If #2 was taken at 200mm, someone was pretty darn close!

  6. #6

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    Re: Brown Bears

    Guys I think that you are missing something Dan put in his photo specs D800E 36MP worth of data, you can make that bear look real close with all those pixels.

    Cheers:

    Allan

  7. #7
    Brownbear's Avatar
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    Re: Brown Bears

    I think he was real close, as the quality is superb and I don't think #1 or #3 are cropped.

  8. #8
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    Re: Brown Bears

    Could be, Dan. Still not used to seeing how much cropping 36 MP will allow and still display this well. I wonder if Dan might share one of the SOOC shots so we can see the crop?

  9. #9
    Digital's Avatar
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    Re: Brown Bears

    Quote Originally Posted by Christina S View Post
    I think he was real close, as the quality is superb and I don't think #1 or #3 are cropped.

    Ok, I will ask it. How close were you to that bear, Dan?

    Bruce

  10. #10
    Digital's Avatar
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    Re: Brown Bears

    Ok. I will ask it. How close were you to that bear, Dan?

    Bruce

  11. #11
    Digital's Avatar
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    Re: Brown Bears

    Quote Originally Posted by Digital View Post
    Ok. I will ask it. How close were you to that bear, Dan?

    Bruce
    Do I have to ask twice?

    Bruce

  12. #12

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    Re: Brown Bears

    I was definitely not 200mm full frame range and hope I never am. As it was, had it not been in a controlled environment it would have been WAY too close. These were shot at Brooks Falls in Katmai NP. There is a viewing platform with a raised catwalk to get to/from it. Unfortunately the arrangement makes it difficult to shoot even reasonably close to eye level with the subjects. Using a long lens and shooting all the way across the stream worked best. The reason the second image looks to be at eye level is because the bear was climbing up the river bank. I was all the way at that end of the platform so he was basically walking straight at me for a brief moment as he climbed the bank. Even as close as he was with 200mm shooting a full frame camera he did not fill the frame. But true with 36MP he didn't have to

    Quote Originally Posted by kdoc856 View Post
    ...I wonder if Dan might share one of the SOOC shots so we can see the crop?
    Here you go, Kevin. Since inquiring minds want to know...

    Brown Bears

  13. #13
    Digital's Avatar
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    Re: Brown Bears

    Thanks Dan for the information. That is one wet bear.


    Bruce

  14. #14
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    Re: Brown Bears

    Stunning images, Dan. Don't know what else to add except that I've done a fair bit of wildlife photography and images like this are a dream. Almost enough to make me jump ship to Nikon, but wait, that wouldn't change the idiot behind the lens. Thanks for sharing.

  15. #15

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    Re: Brown Bears

    I had read that with the D800E you could crop out an awful lot, however have never seen an example. Just amazing the detail you got with that lens and camera I only see two other ways to get an image like that, really, really, close or using an 800mm lens maybe.
    Great shot Dan.

    Cheers:

    Allan

  16. #16
    Digital's Avatar
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    Re: Brown Bears

    Quote Originally Posted by davidedric View Post
    Stunning images, Dan. Don't know what else to add except that I've done a fair bit of wildlife photography and images like this are a dream. Almost enough to make me jump ship to Nikon, but wait, that wouldn't change the idiot behind the lens. Thanks for sharing.
    Dave, switching to Nikon may not "...change the idiot behind the lens", it would allow you to take photographs with a BETTER camera.

    Bruce

  17. #17
    Brownbear's Avatar
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    Re: Brown Bears

    Thanks for sharing Dan... Any bear photography tips for perfect exposure and sharpness?

  18. #18

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    Re: Brown Bears

    Quote Originally Posted by Christina S View Post
    I think he was real close, as the quality is superb and I don't think #1 or #3 are cropped.
    Nearly so, Christina. The first one is a full vertical cut out of a horizontal frame. The bear's hide was really rubbed bad and looked mangy towards his rear so I cropped it out. Same issue with the hide on the bear in the third shot so I cropped a bit off the top to eliminate the shaggy part of his coat.
    Quote Originally Posted by Christina S View Post
    ... Could you explain your chosen camera settings for these photos? I ask because I am going to try and photograph those Grizzly Bears at the wildlife sanctuary again, and although the Grizzlies are a lot darker I think I could learn something from this to apply to my bears...

    ... how in the world did you manage to achieve silky water and a sharp beautiful bear?
    Exposure should be a lot easier without the contrasting white water which I had to account for. You should be able to simply use a spot meter on the bears and compensate by -1EV (remember my prior post on light/dark subjects?). In the shots with white water I used matrix metering and did test shots reducing exposure until there were no "blinkies" then increased 1/3 stop and shot from there. PP was required to bring out the shadows on the bears.

    For the silky water shot I used a remote trigger and took several frames each at 1/15, 1/20, 1/25 second. I waited for each shot until the bear held still. The bear was rarely perfectly still so most of the shots had motion blur. There were one or two crisp ones out of the lot.

  19. #19
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    Re: Brown Bears

    This is a great series, Dan. I like how you ordered them with the bear resting at the end. Great job.

  20. #20
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    Re: Brown Bears

    Thank you so much Dan... Just in the nick of time because I'm heading out soon and hoping the bears will come out to play.

    Good to know that, as I've noticed that bears could use a good brushing.. Perhaps I will bring along a blow dryer to fluff up their coats

    Thank you. yes, I remember... Last time around I used -1EV but they were still a little underexposed... (Actually I have some shots where they were playing in snow but the snow was all blown) but the snow should be gone by now. I will try spot metering..

    Thank you for sharing the silky water tip... Sounds like a landscape which I will duly note and save for future.

    Wish me luck. Thank you.


    Quote Originally Posted by NorthernFocus View Post
    Nearly so, Christina. The first one is a full vertical cut out of a horizontal frame. The bear's hide was really rubbed bad and looked mangy towards his rear so I cropped it out. Same issue with the hide on the bear in the third shot so I cropped a bit off the top to eliminate the shaggy part of his coat.


    Exposure should be a lot easier without the contrasting white water which I had to account for. You should be able to simply use a spot meter on the bears and compensate by -1EV (remember my prior post on light/dark subjects?). In the shots with white water I used matrix metering and did test shots reducing exposure until there were no "blinkies" then increased 1/3 stop and shot from there. PP was required to bring out the shadows on the bears.

    For the silky water shot I used a remote trigger and took several frames each at 1/15, 1/20, 1/25 second. I waited for each shot until the bear held still. The bear was rarely perfectly still so most of the shots had motion blur. There were one or two crisp ones out of the lot.

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