Trip of a Lifetime
Every July, during the peak of the annual salmon
spawning migration in Alaska’s Katmai National Park
and Preserve, brown bears make their way to Brooks
Falls to fish for their favorite prey. Most bears stay at
the bottom of the waterfall, using their paws to pin
the salmon that have failed to jump to the river floor.
A few bears venture to the top instead, hoping to
catch their prey in a midflight spectacle.
Brooks Lodge is an ideal hotel option within the
park; rooms sell out quickly, so book far in advance.
Clients also can fly in for the day on a floatplane.
Bear watching is great at any time of day, but the
light in the afternoon hours is best for photography
from the viewing platforms.
For this picture, I used a Nikon
D810 camera with a Nikkor 300mm f/2.8 lens
set to 1/2000th of a second, an aperture of f/5 and
ISO 100. This is one of the few photography
situations where I suggest having the camera set to
motor drive rather than taking one image at a time:
When action happens in a blink of an eye, shooting
a burst of images will increase the odds of capturing
what the legendary French photographer Henri
Cartier-Bresson once described as “The Decisive
Moment.” — Mark Edward Harris M A R