Behind The Shot: ‘Nursing Bear Alaska’ by Jay Goodrich – Lake Clark National Park & Preserve, Alaska.

Alaskan Brown Bear Sow Cubs © Jay Goodrich

Nursing Bear Alaska by Jay Goodrich

There are fewer creatures on this planet that have the ability to boast such a fierceness simultmaneously coupled with a cute and cuddly lovability than the Alaskan brown bear. My goal as a photographer is to always try and highlight some aspect of this world that transcends the obvious or the apparent misconception. While the brown bear does appear cute and cuddly it is a top predator and not an animal to approach without knowledge. That being said, nothing is more amazing than said animal trusting me enough to become vulnerable for a nursing session for her three first season cubs. A session like this can last minutes, during which the sow (mom) continuously scans the surroundings for any approaching males or females who could pose a threat to her young cubs.

This extremely private and rare moment was a gift given to my workshop group after we spent hours cautiously approaching and photographing her from a distance. It lasted so long that I not only created a bunch of amazing stills, but was able to capture the whole scene in video as well. I created the image using a Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 500mm f4 IS lens, Kirk BH-1 ball head, and a Gitzo carbon fiber tripod. The image was mastered using Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4. - Jay Goodrich

Equipment and settings: Canon EOS-1D Mark IV, Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM telephoto lens, Kirk BH-1 ball head with Gitzo carbon fiber tripod - 1/125th at f/11, ISO 400

This image is available as a print by contacting Goodrich's office. Follow Goodrich on Facebook, Twitter and Google+. His portfolio can be found at his website,, and his imagery can be licensed through his representation at Tandem Stills + Motion. Goodrich is also leading several upcoming photographic workshops to Iceland, the Tetons, Colorado and Hawaii with information available here. His motion work and several of his video tutorials are available at YouTube and Vimeo.

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