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on Sep 18, 2013 in Wildlife Photography

Where Are You Now?

Grizly Bear 13234

I’m in Alaska with griz of course. It’s fall which means on the road. Sharon and I left home two weeks ago and won’t see it again until Thanksgiving. We are very fortunate to be able to see so much of our grand planet and share what we find with you! Currently, we’re up in magnificent Alaska working with one of my favorite critters, grizzly bears. Since you’re not able to be here with me, I thought I would share some of my thoughts on planning my 10 days here with you.

There are two very important factors in planning to photograph griz the way I do, one if photographing griz’s story and the other is the Cessna 207. You have to have the right gear to make the photo but you can’t bring the kitchen sink because of the 207. You need that lens and body but you’ve gotta think of useful load and CG (center of gravity). The 207 might take off from your basic runway, but it will be putting down on a dirt strip, commonly called a beach. So with those two very important factors in mind, this is the gear I have with me:

  • D4 bodies (2x)
  • 800f5.6 AFS
  • 80-400VR3
  • 18-35AFS
  • 16Fish
  • SB-900
  • Gitzo 5561SGT
  • B2 ballhead (no longer available)
  • Lexar 128GB cards (a whole bunch)
  • DiGPS
  • on the backside
  • Macbook Retina
  • Buffalo 1TB Thunderbolt (2x)
  • What’s the logic in this selection? The 800mm, there is no logic, I just wanna to shoot with it more. Now it might afford me the opportunity to get the up close and personal shot that does come along at times, but it won’t be my primary lens. My primary lens is the 80-400 that will be a on second body hanging from my shoulder (800mm always with me on a tripod). Using the Vulture Strap, I can easily have it with me all the time. The 18-35 is for landscapes and general shots and the 16Fish is for the flight to and from the lodge and perhaps the big landscape if it might present itself. The flash is for portraits of folks and interior lodge shots. And other than charger, cords and cleaning kit, that’s all the gear I have along. For me, that is going real light but for this trip and for me, it’s all I need. The last piece of must have equipment are hip boots! You walk a lot and often in mud, creeks and marsh and hip boots make that all possible. Often, I’ll take a knee and shoot low, hip boots are great because they keep your pants from getting wet. So, that’s the basics and where I’m at. There will be, as you imagine, a whole lot more coming but for now, you’re up to day where I’m at.