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Try Out A Telephoto Assignment Winner Gary Kunkel

Sequoia National Park bear cub

Photo By Gary Kunkel

Congratulations to Gary Kunkel, whose image “Bear Cub Resting In A Tree” is the winner of the Try Out A Telephoto Assignment!

“I’m fortunate to live close enough to Sequoia National Park to have the opportunity to visit it several times a year,” said Kunkel. “There are few better places to photograph black bears than Sequoia, particularly in the spring and early summer. During these times the mothers and their cubs graze on the grasses in the meadows there. Bears are many in number and the photo opportunities are plentiful. On this particular occasion I was with my friend and professional wildlife photographer Brent Paull. We spent quite a while taking photos of a mother bear and her cubs in the meadow and, although we got good images, there was nothing particularly noteworthy about them. After a while, the sow noticed that a male black bear was getting a little too close, so she sent two of her cubs up a nearby tree where they’d be safe. The sow remained watchful at the base of the tree, and the male bear left her and her cubs alone. Both cubs easily and quickly climbed the tree and one ventured out onto a horizontal branch to lie down. Brent and I were standing shoulder-to-shoulder firing off image after image as the cub assumed a childlike pose lying down with its head on its paws and facing our cameras. The combination of interesting pose, unobstructed line of sight, lighting and background all combined to give us one of those special moments that sometimes happen when one is out photographing nature. The use of a long telephoto lens allowed us to photograph this animal yet remain a comfortable distance, both for us and the bear.”

Canon EOS 7D Mark II, 500mm f/4 lens, 1/500 sec at f/8 with +2/3 exposure compensation.