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Posted January 15th, 2017

A Fish By the Tail

Pentax K-1, SMC Pentax DA* 60-250mm f/4 ED [IF] SDM, 1/320 s @ f/6.3, ISO 1000

“You’re in my Space!”

Pentax K-1, SMC Pentax DA* 60-250mm f/4 ED [IF] SDM, 1/250 s @ f/6.3, ISO 1000

The Chilkoot River is a very short waterway that drains from Chilkoot Lake into salt water at Lutak Inlet about 2 kms away. It is a rich salmon stream, so of course it attracts bears. That is a big concern for park rangers, with the campground located adjacently on the lake and the location heavily used by fishermen, tourists and Haines locals alike. This sow (top photo) with a pair of two year old cubs has been habituating the area for some time apparently. They clearly are very accustomed to the hordes of spectators that crowd disturbingly close to them and mama seems too preoccupied with fishing to pay much notice. But the cub in the lower photo reacted with a threatening glare when an overly daring videographer pushed his luck with a recklessly close approach. I shot this image as the videographer retreated. Somehow, I barely noticed that the bear had turned its gaze on me, perhaps because the menacing quality seemed to have left its expression. Though the separation felt very uncomfortably small, my distance from the bears still was enough that, with the 250mm reach of my lens, I had to crop these images heavily to frame them as you see here. The K-1’s high resolution and high pixel quality came through for me while my Sigma 150-500mm was off at the distributor for a mount replacement.