Just in from photographing bears on the Katmai coast on a tour organized by Photo Quest Adventures. We had incredible weather, 25 bears at a time right near us, and lots of cubs. Every year these giant coastal brown bears pack into the streams to eat spawning salmon. This year there was an incredible return of pink and dog salmon, so the bears packed in to feast. From a technical standpoint, photographing bears is pretty straightforward. Matrix metering generally nails the exposure, so it is more about anticipating the bears behavior and being ready for the shot. Because these bears walk by so close, say 7-10 feet away at times, you have to be careful about your choice of aperture. An image shot at F4 at 400mm on a bears face may result in the nose being sharp and the eyes going soft. The other technique we used frequently was using continuous focus modes with multipoint autofocus patterns to capture bears running through the creek chasing fish. We also used this technique to track bald eagles flying over head. We decided to take the boat back to Kodiak (we flew over by floatplane to start) from the Katmai coast in hopes of photographing whales and sea otters. Once again we had great luck finding both otters and orcas. It’s great to see abundant wildlife in these wild places. Alaska never disappoints. Tech: all images shot with a Nikon D3 and 200-400mm F4 lens, some with a 1.4x converter. attached.