top of page

Photo Tip: Capturing Bears in Action

F 5.6 Shutter Speed 1/2000 sec. ISO 1000 (1D Mark1V Canon 500mm)

Grizzly Bear Head Shake David Hemmings

With over 10 years of Bear Photography Tours I have photographed plenty of bears in action. Bears are always full of surprises with each one possessing a different mannerism, expression and presenting jaw dropping photo opportunities. This year, in August we are offering an incredible Alaska Fishing Bears Photo Tour. This photography workshop is a bit different from the other bear photography workshops we offer. On this tour, you are taken by float plane to a lodge nestled on a private peninsula on the shore of majestic Lake Iliamna, the heart of Alaska's finest wildlife region. At the lodge, an Alaskan style great room provides a cozy atmosphere for us to enjoy the spectacular lake and mountain views.

Every day you are taken to unique grizzly bear locations on rivers to optimize the most action packed and variety filled grizzly bear photo opportunities. In our small private group setting, you will feel one to one with grizzly bears. Strong large male bears aggressively jump and dive in water catching salmon along with incredible bear landscapes.

Not sure which settings to use in different situations? Not to worry I will be there to assist you and remind you to push the shutter button, as some of these bear encounters will stop you in your tracks. For more info email or contact

David Hemmings on Facebook. Be sure to send out our tips to friends and family! Happy Shooting and hope to see you out there!

Check out more photos and info about ALASKA FISHING BEARS

Here are a few photo tips to successfully capture bears in action:

1. When there is more than one grizzly bear fishing or running about try to choose just one subject at a time and focus on that opportunity then move on to the next.

2. Look to see what is around the subject and behind it. This will help you to determine what exposure compensation to use, if any, as well as having an object to take a light reading from so you can manually set your aperture and shutter speed for your award winning shot.

3. Focus on the eyes. When shooting a large animal such as a grizzly bear, I recommend to set your focus point to center point focus only or, at the most, center point focus with expand to five surrounding points. This will help to make sure that the focus does not hunt too often to areas of the frame that you don’t want to acquire focus on.

4. Direction of Light. Be aware of where you are shooting in regards to the direction the light source is coming from. Whenever possible you should attempt to have the light behind you lighting up your subject. We will be right there to make sure we are maximizing our lighting situations.

5. Freezing Motion. In order to freeze motion, we need to have fairly high shutter speeds even with big bears. Check your settings often to make sure that you are getting a high enough shutter speed to freeze motion such as this grizzly bear shaking water off its coat of fur. You may need to increase your ISO or stop down, depending on how much ambient light that is available.

6. Using a lens that is light enough to hand hold is a good idea as the bears move quickly and often. If you have a fast enough shutter speed hand holding a lens such as a 100-400mm or a 300 f4, 200-500, etc. should be within reach for most photographers.

7. Make sure that you have your camera set to shoot maximum frame bursts to help capture all the action.

8. Although I shoot with a fixed focal length prime lens for many different species of animals and birds, I feel that a good zoom lens is the preferred lens of choice for this particular trip as the distance from photographer to subject can vary anywhere from 30 to 100 yards.

9. Make sure that you bring rain protection for both your camera and yourself as it is not uncommon for the weather to go from rain to cloud to sun and then back again.

10. I recommend a good shoulder strap harness for your equipment if you are going to shoot hand held as it makes things go much easier while shooting for a whole day.

Please share our post with friends! Looking to photograph bears? Check out Alaska Fishing Bears , BC Bears, Spirit Bears or Polar Bears

Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
No tags yet.
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square
bottom of page