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The Catch

The Catch
Photo Information
Copyright: Christopher Campbell (cjcampbell) Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 32 W: 0 N: 66] (308)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2009-07-23
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Nikon D3X, AF-S VR Nikkor 400 mm f/2.8 G ED
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/1600 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2009-08-01 13:41
Viewed: 3685
Points: 10
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
The Nikon D3x has an amazing ability to capture detail. If you want to print out a 17x22 exhibition print, you actually have to downsize the file in order to get it to fit. One may well wonder whether the slow 1.8 fps is adequate for wildlife photography, but careful anticipation and choosing your vantage point allow you to capture even the most fleeting of moments.

For this picture, everything went wrong. Someone stepped in front of me just as the bear caught a salmon. The AF system tried to focus on grass in the foreground. There were people walking around on the platform causing to shake as if in an earthquake. I was too far away; this is about a 1/3 crop of the entire photo. And to top it off, I ran out of space on the memory card, which I had not bothered to change because I was packing up to leave for the day.

Yet, this turned out to be one of the better shots of the day. The AF quickly focused on the bear and I got three frames before the memory card conked out. You can see the pores on the bear's nose! And this in a shot from hundreds of yards away with a 400 mm f/2.8 lens with 1.7 teleconverter attached -- and despite the obvious motion in the bear's muzzle as well.

As for the bear: he is at Brooks Falls in Alaska. Bears are highly individualistic in their fishing techniques. This guy likes to stand on a rock in the middle of the river and watch for fish. When he sees one he lunges at it, running full speed through the water and scooping it up with his powerful jaws. The speed was truly amazing. This bear probably weighs close to 800 lbs, being much larger than the other bears. Yet he can run 35 mph and leap from the bottom of the falls to the top. He was more successful than most of the other bears at catching fish. Despite the fact that the salmon run was pretty much over, he still managed to catch one or two fish per hour. Even so, I saw him eating considerable amounts of grass and other things.

thor68 has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hola Christopher

Que buena toma de este oso con el pez. El hambre lo puede todo.

Buena nitidez y colorido

Un saludo Antonio

Hi Christopher,a beautiful composition with a great time .. a full action .. Congratulations ...
F.Tamer Aktekin

  • Great 
  • Chas Silver Note Writer [C: 3 W: 0 N: 11] (62)
  • [2009-08-02 0:46]

A real wildlife moment recorded by you superbly. Thank you for the description which makes this such a great photo. Nice to know that you overcame all your difficulties and came away with something really worthwhile.

  • Great 
  • thor68 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 795 W: 138 N: 1319] (5674)
  • [2009-08-03 14:08]

"For this picture, everything went wrong." looks like not everything did, as it is a really great wildlife action-shot! :-)
the focus is spot on and the details are amazing, love the drops of water splashing around. excellent job & best wishes, thor.

  • Great 
  • mlgb Silver Note Writer [C: 4 W: 0 N: 31] (125)
  • [2009-10-02 13:29]

Great action, I like the water fore and back, although for me I might try to crop more of the lower left blur out of the picture.

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