Bears of the McNeil River

by Mark Hardgrave

This was a very familiar scene for the four days I was at McNeil.  Taken near the island below the falls at McNeil, this bear is crossing the river to get to the deeper part to go fishing.  The bears would come within 10 to 20 feet of us while on the viewing pad.  The first time I was a little scared, but you get used to them and at times you stop photographing and just watch.  Again, the light was nice and the bears look really good with the warm light on their dark coats.  Taken with the usual stuff, Kodak E200 film.

This is another of my favorite images from the trip.  The colors are really nice and the images it tack sharp!  This one will be hanging in my studio or home at some point.  When these two came by us you could hear the motor drives going with all their might.  I shot 8 rolls of film in around two minutes.  I even switched between 3 different types and speeds of film.  There were some shots, they were so close all I could get was full frame head shots with my 300!  With a 500 mm, I think all you can do is sit back and watch them stroll by because they are so close.  Nikon F4s, Nikkor 300 mm 2.8 EDIF, Fuji Velvia film.

Page 5