Sunrise Bear

Ron Niebrugge Alaska, Lake Clark, Photos, Travel 14 Comments

Brown / Grizzly Bear, Lake Clark National Park, Alaska.

Brown / Grizzly Bear, Lake Clark National Park, Alaska.

A Brown Bear watches for salmon during a beautiful sunrise earlier this month during my Alaska Bear and Puffin Photo Tour.  Figured I better post another bear image – they seem much more popular then birds.  🙂

To get this much depth of field I combined two nearly identical images – one where I focused on the bear, the other focused on the mountain across the Cook Inlet.

Here is a quick adjustment to the image where I focused on just the bear and used f/11.  Not sure the top one is really any better.

Comments 14

  1. This is just amazing. That sunrise is beautiful, and then to have a grizzly sitting there… Interesting idea about taking 2 images with different focus points. I’ve never done that. I’ve always done the 2 image merger for lighting. I guess you couldn’t shoot at f/16 because of the possibility of the bear moving during such a long exposure.

  2. This is just gorgeous, Ron. Perhaps one of the most striking bear images that I have seen. What incredible light and background. For interest, I would love to see the original image with focus on the bear. I suspect that looks beautiful as well.

  3. Beautifully done Ron! That will be a serious money maker I predict. What a happy “accident” that it would work perfect for a cover, a wrap cover, a 2 page spread, a panoramic spread, an art print etc. Great work as always Ron.

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    Thanks a lot!

    @ Scott Thanks! No, I couldn’t go to f/16 – it was really dark and I already had the ISO cranked up up 1600 and only had 1/50th of a second at f/11. I tired to do this near / far focus technique a number of times, but this was the only one that worked out. The rest of the time, the bear moved between exposures, and left me with an out of focus halo around the bear when I tried combining them later.

    @ Milo Thanks a lot! I’ll see if I can add the original – the outline of the mountains is still distinct, and I’m sure it is just fine with out the combination.

    @ Calvin – Thanks a lot!

  5. This is just amazing !!

    Any idea on where that impressive mountain is ? Its on the kenai peninsula side right ?

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  7. Both are goreous, Ron, but it seems that you lost some detail in the bears lower half and the beach line in the combined version. Perhaps with some work you could get it right. Regardless, stunning shot!

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  9. I’ve about wore the mouse wheel out rolling back and forth between the two versions trying to tell where my eye goes first – trying to tell what is the ‘subject’? For me, the bright sky and sharp mountains are the subject of the first photo. The sharp, contrasted, dark bear is the subject of the second photo. This is what I see viewing on a 21″ monitor at book reading distance. The choice isn’t as easy when I move back from the monitor a ways. The difference would probably disappear if the mouse cord was longer.

    Both versions are gorgeous images. Thanks for images that, for me at least, demonstrate some of the nuances of composition.

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    Thanks Warren. I even did one of a bear walking with the bear out of focus, but the mountains sharp – that version really didn’t work, but was worth a try. 🙂

  11. Hey Ron,

    Lovely shot; looks like you had some great weather out there.

    The only thing that looks “weird” here is the oof line of the ridge the bear is sitting on. you’ve got this in focus foreground, in focus bear, and an oof focus sandy horizon, then an in focus distant horizon. The single exposure doesn’t have that oof section in the middle.



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    Thanks Carl,

    Yes, that area needs more work – don’t know if I can really correct that blurred beach line as it shifts between the two images. Thanks Carl.

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