<< Previous Next >>

Count the Bears

Count the Bears
Photo Information
Copyright: James Parker (Jamesp) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-07-30
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Canon EOS 1Ds MkII, Canon EF 300mm f2.8 USM IS
Exposure: f/4, 1/200 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Polar Bears (Ursus maritimus) [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2007-03-19 9:56
Viewed: 5081
Points: 28
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
How many bears can you count on the beach? I have posted this shot simply because it is so unusual.

The polar bear is the most carnivorous member of the bear family (most are generalists), and the one that is most likely to prey on humans as food. It feeds mainly on seals, especially ringed seals that poke holes in the ice to breathe, but will eat anything it can kill: birds, rodents, shellfish, crabs, beluga whales, young walruses, occasionally musk oxen or reindeer, and very occasionally other polar bears(see below). Still, reindeer and musk oxen can easily outrun a polar bear, and polar bears overheat quickly: thus the polar bear subsists almost entirely on live seals and walrus calves, or on the carcasses of dead adult walruses or whales. They are enormously powerful predators, but they rarely kill adult walruses, which are twice the polar bear's weight.

They are not usually very sociable. This group had gathered to feed on the remains of a sperm whale (it is under water – they have dragged the backbone and chunks of blubber ashore). Whilst we were observing the bears – 15 in all, but not all in this shot – one of the males killed and ate one of the cubs. I am fairly ok about these things but on this occasion I did not look or photograph ( it was rather far away fortunately). I have got a picture I took in Franz Josef Land of a polar bear and young walruss carcass I may post another time.

This shot may be a little oversharpened, I am having a few problems when processing to upload, some shots are losing sharpness, some colour and some both, so I sharpened this one a little more than usual. The conditions were not perfect – dull day, dull beach and taken from a zodiac. If you visit Eugene (account name on TN) – he was in the same zodiac as me.

garyfudge, irimi, fartash, ramthakur, tomcezar, Evelynn, coasties, Adanac, delic has marked this note useful
Only registered TrekNature members may rate photo notes.
Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
Only registered TrekNature members may write critiques.
ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To claudine: FragileJamesp 1 03-20 09:56
To cicindela: Bad luckJamesp 1 03-20 02:28
To Evelynn: KillingJamesp 1 03-19 12:21
To garyfudge: seabirdJamesp 1 03-19 10:36
You must be logged in to start a discussion.

Critiques [Translate]

A tremendous shot, great composition and well exposed.

9 by the way, what do I win? Or is that another one off in the distance, Thought it might be a seabird.


  • Great 
  • irimi Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 34 W: 2 N: 49] (266)
  • [2007-03-19 10:59]

Hello James,
Very nice capture. Well exposed and sharpness seems fine to me.


Hello James
What a great shot ot these Polar Bears,
Perfect compo and lighting,Intersting
subject, Welldone.


Hello James,
Though the picture is in colour, it gives the impression of being black and white, especially the front portion.
You have captured the harsh drama of existence very well in this shot of polar bears feeding on the remains of a whale. The white bears are clearly etched against the dark BG. Yes, a bit of distortion through sharpening has occurred in the BG but that does not lessen the impact of the image.

Waaau... nine polar bears!!! Very unusualy picture. Very good composition, the texture of gravel is a little humping, ...I think. But it is a very good photot. Bravo. Best regards, Cezar.

I never know at which end of the planet, or anywhere in between, I will find you. That is an amazing sight to find so many polar bears in one place and in one shot. I like the photo a lot. They look deceptively peaceful. I would find the killing of a cub distressing. I like to stay one step removed from reality!

Thanks for sharing

Evelynn : )

Hi James

In my opinion, this is a real bonus shot. We don't see to many Polar Bears posted on TN and certainly being in their natural environment is just fantastic. This is brilliant to view. Thank you! :-)

  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2007-03-19 19:08]

Hello James,
Excellent capture, nature can be ugly and beautiful, you captured the beautiful part with this great composition, thanks for sharing.

Hello James,
This is a great image and it gives hope for the future!
Hopefully the weather changes will not mean too much for these wonderful creatures...
Great capture!
Pablo -

Oh James!
I really believe that you posted this picture just show me that I had a really bad luck when I was on Spitsbergen! :>:>:>
(Please see here for more details ;>)
So many polar bears in one place! Really amazing!
My congratulation because of great timing!
Best greetings,

Hello James,
That must have been something very special to witness. I love those majestic animals which are becoming very fragile specie with the global warming... I saw recently some heartbreaking images from North Pole… This is an excellent picture of a very unique scene. POV, details and exposure are superb and I'm amazed by these details you could caught with this aperture. I counted 9 individuals isn't it? This is very well done and rare… Thanks,

nice society, TFS Ori

  • Great 
  • delic Gold Star Critiquer [C: 440 W: 6 N: 310] (898)
  • [2007-03-20 12:20]

Terrific post for TN, James. Very educational with the note. Photo is excellent by all accounts. Looks like a Dead Whales Society. Well done. Regards,

Great group shot of these polar bears in their natural environment. I think if I was a kid polar bear I wouldn't be hanging around the older chaps. :)

Calibration Check