Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge - Polar Bears


After leaving Denali for the season, after last year's exceptional experience in the Arctic, just had to go again. Never did I think that this year's trip could exceed last year's. On our only morning of the two day trip, we had stunning light and a sow with yearling cubs at very close range.

Seeing polar bears in the wild is extraordinary, but having this polar bear family totally at ease and curious about our presence was just awe-inspiring. While we were out in a boat observing them on a spit, they were curious about us and walked over to our location.

They settled in on a bank and watched us, while we watched them.


As the boat drifted towards the shore, with a super telephoto lens, amazingly I was able to capture full frame shoulder shots of the sow and cubs interacting!

The absolute best viewing of the trip was watching the cub above. He sat up and did a number of unusual hand signals for us. He did this on more than one occasion. I'm planning on doing a composite image with all the different hand signs and call the photograph "The Referee".

After a marathon drive back from Alaska, nice to be back home in Virginia. After being home less than a week, already did a booth in an art festival in Crozet, VA. Doing a studio tour this weekend as well. So, needless to say life rocks. Blue Skies.

9 comments:

Bob Pelkey said...

A stunning finish to an extraordinary journey.

Brad Myers said...

Fantastic photos Ken, that is one place I did not get to in Alaska but then there is always time after retirement.

I enjoyed they series from Alaska again this year and am glad to see you made it home safely.

Brad

HANNIBAL said...

Holy Speechless Photography! Amazing to say the least! Incredible series I can only drool over! Congrats on these truly awesome moments!

Elaine said...

Supurb photos! What a wonderful opportunity you had, although, coward that I am, I'm not sure I would have felt safe being that close to them. I love the photos of the cub and his hand signals. Makes you wonder what he was trying to say to you....

Coy said...

Incredible Ken! The hand signs are fantastic. My wife is sitting here beside me and is saying that she wants one of those babies to hug & kiss :)

Sounds good but I would expect that the polar mom would object!

Pat Ulrich said...

Such an incredible series of images! I can only imagine how awesome it must be to see these guys in the wild. Love the shots of the mother and cubs interacting -- and the cub sitting on his haunches is unbearably cute (pun intended)!

Anonymous said...

Great photos Ken. Have you gotten a haircut yet?

Anonymous said...
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francescbb@hotmail.es said...

Excellent pictures, congratulations!!!

Frank, Barcelona

http://balapertotarreu.blogspot.com