“Coastal Brown Bears of Alaska” Trip Report

I’ve just returned from my 5th “Coastal Brown Bears of Alaska” photo tour in beautiful Lake Clark National Park.  My 6 tour participants and I enjoyed a great week of bear and nature photography.  Even the 118 mile flight from Anchorage to the lodge provides wonderful photo opportunities.

Aerial of coastal mudflats of Cook Inlet

I captured this abstract image of the mudflats along Cook Inlet on our flight out to Lake Clark out the window of the DeHaviland Beaver.  We fly fairly low so I’ve found that my Canon 5d mkII and EF24-105mm F4 IS lens works very well for this type of shooting.  The amazing coastal brown bears were of course, the highlight of the trip, and again this year they didn’t disappoint.

Alaskan brown bear chasing a silver salmon

Fishing brown bear

Alaskan brown bear chasing salmon

Our tour was timed to take advantage of the silver salmon spawning run.  The fishing bears provided us with many opportunities to photograph the action as they chased and caught the salmon in the shallow stream. 

We were very fortunate of have a sow bear with 3 tiny cubs of the year in the area.  They provided us with some excellent photo sessions.

Brown bear mother with cubs

3 sleepy cubs

Joyful cub

During the low tide the sow would take the cubs out onto the mud flats to dig clams.  She liked to stay away from the other bears, to protect her cubs, but didn’t mind our company at all.   I usually carried my Canon 1D mkIV attached to the EF500mm F4 IS on my CF Gitzo tripod with my 7d or 5d mkII over my shoulder with the EF70-200mm F4 IS.  I use the excellent Black Rapid strap to comfortably and safely carry it.

Cub fight

Big bear fight

I’m now taking deposits for my 2013 tour which is scheduled for August 23-28th.  Make tracks to my website at www.franzfoto.com to sign up.  You’ll be glad you did!

Brown bear tracks on the beach


Posted , updated
Posted , updated