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TimAuer_AlaskaSunrise_wildlife.tif

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Sept 8 2013
I was breaking camp at dawn on my last day in Katmai National Park, Alaska. From the look of the morning twilight and wispy cloud cover, I knew the day's sunrise would be spectacular. It was the first morning of the trip it wasn't cloudy or raining. When I set up my tripod and composed, it was still mostly dark out. As the light increased, I saw a large brown bear about 400 yards away on the beach, walking towards me. If the bear followed the shore all the way past me, I knew it would be the shot I have dreamed about; the quintessential Alaska photograph! As he approached, I quickly moved my gear back, without frightening him off or putting myself in danger. Crouching in the bushes and watching him, I recomposed and waited for the right moment. As the bear passed and I clicked, the sunrise colors were peaking in their vibrancy. Photographically, I underexposed the image to capture these colors, and make a silhouette of the bear. The shutter speed was slow enough to capture its forward motion with the blurry paw, but fast enough to freeze the identifying characteristics of a brown bear- muzzle, ear, hump. In the foreground the beach is strewn with sun bleached driftwood reflecting some of the pink light, and in the background the low lying clouds in the Iliuk Arm of Naknek Lake still hold onto their shadows. Even more than Yellowstone and Yosemite, Katmai is my favorite national park to visit, and this photograph precisely captures the reason why.
Copyright
Tim Auer
Image Size
5472x3648 / 114.3MB
Contained in galleries
Alaska Full, Alaska
Sept 8 2013<br />
I was breaking camp at dawn on my last day in Katmai National Park, Alaska. From the look of the morning twilight and wispy cloud cover, I knew the day's sunrise would be spectacular. It was the first morning of the trip it wasn't cloudy or raining. When I set up my tripod and composed, it was still mostly dark out. As the light increased, I saw a large brown bear about 400 yards away on the beach, walking towards me. If the bear followed the shore all the way past me, I knew it would be the shot I have dreamed about; the quintessential Alaska photograph! As he approached, I quickly moved my gear back, without frightening him off or putting myself in danger. Crouching in the bushes and watching him, I recomposed and waited for the right moment. As the bear passed and I clicked, the sunrise colors were peaking in their vibrancy. Photographically, I underexposed the image to capture these colors, and make a silhouette of the bear. The shutter speed was slow enough to capture its forward motion with the blurry paw, but fast enough to freeze the identifying characteristics of a brown bear- muzzle, ear, hump. In the foreground the beach is strewn with sun bleached driftwood reflecting some of the pink light, and in the background the low lying clouds in the Iliuk Arm of Naknek Lake still hold onto their shadows. Even more than Yellowstone and Yosemite, Katmai is my favorite national park to visit, and this photograph precisely captures the reason why.