Barter Island Polar Bears 01

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    USA, Alaska, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, A polar bear mother and cub playing on Barter Island

    I have just returned from co-leading my first Polar Bear Photography Tour in Alaska. It was an incredible success! I created some fantastic images, but more importantly, so did my clients. I can't wait to do it again next year. I'll be updating my website this fall with information about next year's tours, but if anyone is still interested in photographing the polar bears this year, my partner Steve Kazlowski is available in Alaska for clients. Please email me at for more information.

    This was my first time photographing polar bears. I now understand how addictive photographing them can be. On the last day of my tour, I was able to photograph this mother and cub wrestling in the snow for an hour. It was incredible watching the cub continuously jump on or slide under it's mom. Check out those mischievous little eyes staring at it's mom right before it pounces. I was initially frustrated that they were farther away than I would normally like to shoot, but I pulled out all of my equipment in order to get in as tight as possible. I was on a boat which required me to hand-hold my Canon 7D with my 500mm f4 IS lens plus 1.4X tele-extender. That is equivalent to an 1120mm lens! I was able to freeze the action at 1/1000 second by setting my camera to ISO 800. This image is a single-exposure which was slightly cropped and required minimal processing using Aperture 3 and Photoshop CS5.

    You can also "Like" my Fan Page on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

    sameermundkur, idashum, kcvensel, and 156 other people added this photo to their favorites.

    View 20 more comments

    1. Mangini Adalberto & Laura - sorry busy - few time 31 months ago | reply

      Congratulations, Your photo has been selected as image of the week and is now on the front page of Scenics & Wilderness Group.
      An image you have to be proud of!
      Thank you!

      Here you are:

    2. coyrooster 31 months ago | reply

      Polar bear pictures are everywhere but few are endearing as this one, especially *paused* in full-screen mode. How you did this, Jon, perched on a boat peering through a turbo telephoto with a hand-held camera, is the supreme sort of skill used by magicians to pull a rabbit out of a hat.

      You could donate this gem to groups campaigning tirelessly to protect ANWR (Arctic National Wilderness Refuge) from the insidious threat of oil & gas drilling, both on land and offshore. Might enhance your reputation. Here are a few:

      National Wildlife Refuge Association


      Northern Alaska Environmental Center

      National Resources Defense Council

      Defenders of Wildlife

      Alaska Wilderness League

      Seen in BORN to be WILD

    3. VittorioRicci 31 months ago | reply

      beautifully captured!

    4. Marcel Tuit (travel mode) 31 months ago | reply

      Another stunning shot. Also great pose of the large bear. Very good work!

      Via your photostream on Fluidr

    5. bubble gum [deleted] 31 months ago | reply

      lovely wildlife picture

    6. patia 31 months ago | reply

      Omg, this one made me gasp.

    7. bkilty21 31 months ago | reply

      Spectacular! I love the playfulness you've captured here! Great shot!

    8. OsoBueno1487 30 months ago | reply

      How wonderful!

    9. okrakaro 30 months ago | reply

      a fantastic capture!!
      I saw your great polar bear photo in
      Polar Bears International
      Polar Bears International
      Thank you for sharing!

    10. Charles Augustus 28 months ago | reply

      Fantastic expression!

    11. Wild through my eyes 24 months ago | reply

      Omg...Omg..Omg....Sir...I am in love with this...Soo beautiful wooooooooow

    12. M.A.Gibson 19 months ago | reply

      Very nice capture

    13. valentino * 19 months ago | reply

      bella fotografia

    14. snowbird1972 5 months ago | reply

      Gorgeous shot!!!

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