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Friday, September 17, 2010

Photo of the Day - Grizzly in Fall Colours

I photographed this beautiful grizzly bear along the Icefields Parkway Wednesday night (two nights ago) on my way back from the Yukon.

A grizzly bear peers out at me from fall foliage along the Icefields Parkway, Jasper National Park

The shot was taken at 6:45 pm with my Canon 1D Mk IV and 500 mm lens at ISO 3200, 1/320th of a second at f4. Because the bear was moving in and out of the brush, I took a test exposure at 1/320th and f4 and when I determined that it was the correct exposure, I then set my camera to Manual mode and locked in at that exposure so the meter wouldn't get fooled if too much bear got in a shot, or vice versa, if too much foliage got in a shot.

I'm looking forward to seeing a LOT more bears in fall colours next week when the first of my sold-out grizzly bear photography tours takes place. Word on the street (aka, an email from the lodge owner) is that it's a record sockeye salmon run and that the wilderness lodge we'll be operating out of saw 29 different grizzlies last week and 11 different black bears!! If you're interested in attending next year, let me know asap as there has already been a tremendous amount of interest in the 2011 tours.

Happy shooting!



  1. Great shot John!
    Also, congratulations on your article in the current issue of OPC! I really enjoyed it.

  2. Thanks Tom. I still haven't seen the issue yet, glad to hear you enjoyed it, though!

  3. Hey John, thanks for including a little technical information on the shot, its great to see how different photographers go about achieving their image.

    Goodluck on the grizzly tour.

  4. Excellent Image John! Glad you made it back safely from the Yukon!

  5. Great shot John, was wondering if you still see bears in that area as the reports went down the last days.
    Only nine more nights until Chilcotin!

  6. Thanks Brandon and John. Hendrik, yes, you can definitely still see grizzlies, though it's a tougher grind to find them this time of year.

  7. Hi John,
    This is a phenomenal photograph!
    I'm a huge fan of your photography and have bought your book "Wildlife in the Rockies" last week. We've just come back from 3 wonderful weeks in western Canada. The past 5 days we stayed at Anneke's and Carmelo's in Canmore. Carmelo wanted to invite you over for breakfast but I knew you were away in the Yukon to pick up your car...Too bad!
    Anyway, am a keen amateur myself and was so happy to see several grizzly at Sparrowhawk, Spray Lake on diffrent occasions, and no less than 5 moose at Engadine Lodge on Wednesday...Wow! An unforgettable experience!
    Keep on posting these fantastic wildlife photo's please!
    Kindest wishes from Belgium.

  8. John - really enjoying the blog (photos and stories). At the seminar in April you mentioned setting up the tripod in the vehicle - just curious if that's how you got this great shot?

  9. Hi Lyle, great to hear from you. This shot was actually hand-held leaning the lens over my passenger side seat shooting out of the back passenger side window! So no tripod this time around.

  10. Thanks Hilde! Glad to hear you got to meet Carmelo and Anneka, they're great people. And also glad to hear you had lots of wildlife on your trip, that's fantastic!