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Thread: Trough time...

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    Wildlife Moderator Steve Kaluski's Avatar
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    Default Trough time...

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    We had a quick heads up from the sister vessel that they had an encounter with a mother and two cubs, feeding on the remnants of a large Walrus. For those who remember Loi, he was on the sister vessel just by coincidence, so late in the afternoon we launched the two zodiacs and went to investigate. This time space was of a premium and not knowing what distances we may have to work in, I took the 500 with the 1.4, and MK4 in case of cropping, but with hindsight I wished I had taken the 100-400 with the 1DX 2 as we got incredibly close, frame rate is far better and no need to crop, however...

    The wind was strong and the sea, choppy which created a real hard task to frame, let alone shoot in, so SS high. As we approached the shoreline the three Polar Bears were high up on land, looking down at us, but the sea kept pushing us closer and closer to shore, not what we wanted for obvious reasons. After a few minutes the two cubs made their way down, curious with our presence, Mum followed, all wishing to have more nibbles on the diminishing carcass. Arctic Foxes were also feeding on the skull about 8m away, but kept their distance from the PB's. Here the second cub took a breather, fur covered in dry blood as the other one just got his head tucked well into the rib cage. There was nothing much left of the Walrus and we think it died of natural causes because it would have been too big for the PB's to take on, but worth stopping by to build up fat reserves.

    After both us & the PB's had their fill all three disappeared off into the distance. once back on board, gear & zodiacs stowed away we say another solitary bear coming in, so not sure if it was an adult male and this is why Mum & cubs left the area.

    Jon if you get the Olympus Pro mag you may get more insight into the trip.

    Thanks to those who viewed or commented on the previous posting.

    Steve

    Subject: Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) feed on Walrus carcass
    Location: Svalbard
    Camera: Canon 5D MKVI
    Lens: 500 f/4 MKII HH
    Exposure: 1/2000s at f/8 ISO2000
    Original format: Portrait, almost FF
    Processed via: LRCC Classic & PSCC2019

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    The light looks very nice. Detail is great. Like the walrus ribs in the foreground. Wish the eye was more visisble or more open. Did you take any horizontal's? Really digging the texture in that fur.

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    Wildlife Moderator Steve Kaluski's Avatar
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    Thank John.

    Wish the eye was more visisble or more open.
    As I mentioned to someone else who raised the same question - the head is facing into the sun, therefore what happens when we look into the sun, we either close our eyes or squint.

    Did you take any horizontal's?
    Yep.

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    Story Sequences Moderator and Wildlife Moderator Gabriela Plesea's Avatar
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    Dear Steve,

    As soon as I opened this thumbnail I remembered a Theme we once had and which required images of animals with their eyes closed - do you recall? At the time I searched frantically for something that fitted the Theme... did find a few... but my dilemma was... which one told the story, or worked best in terms of expression?

    So to me the expression on the bear's face here makes the image, and if you didn't mention the subject was looking into the sun and possibly squinting I would have thought it was delight and content in finding a free meal

    Great techs and beautifully exposed, sharpness in good measure, detail is superb. Beautiful light. The carcass makes me think of a sculpture.

    I really appreciate the image design and positioning of subjects within the frame, it all works perfectly.

    Enjoyed viewing, many thanks for sharing,

    Warmest regards,
    Gabriela Plesea

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    Wildlife Moderator Steve Kaluski's Avatar
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    Thank you Gabriela, sadly I cannot recollect the Theme, but trust your memory.

    It was a nightmare scenario, bears moving, zodiac moving back and forth, lens going up & down and so it was just pot luck in what you nailed. As I mentioned, using the 100-400 would have been the sounder choice as we kept drifting in & out towards the bears, not what you wanted with an Apex predator. All edited frames are FF or near as dam it, so no option for cropping. Changing the Cases ensured the camera locked on and with a reasonable SS I was surprised how many were keepers as the 5D4 is only 7 FPS compared to the 10 I tend to use with the 1DX2.

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    Story Sequences Moderator and Wildlife Moderator Gabriela Plesea's Avatar
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    Very tough conditions indeed. But I see the SS was enough to cope with moving Zodiac and moving bears, image is sharp and IQ is great. Did you have any support for your gear at all?
    Gabriela Plesea

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    Wildlife Moderator Steve Kaluski's Avatar
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    Did you have any support for your gear at all?
    No sadly, all HH, Alison wanted too much money.

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    Story Sequences Moderator and Wildlife Moderator Gabriela Plesea's Avatar
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    Gabriela Plesea

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    Macro and Flora Moderator Jonathan Ashton's Avatar
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    Fine shot Steve, illustrates the scenario very clearly. As usual the details are outstandingly good. Couldn't have been easy with tat big old lens and camera - never mind it will keep you strong!
    Yes I get the Olympus mag - not sure which one you refer to - the current one is principally macro.
    (with Olympus you get so much more than a camera, I was amazed how you can ask technical questions and you get an email back from a PERSON who actually engages in useful dialogue - also Pro service repair and freebie cleaning, workshops, free trials of equipment, extended guarantee - the list goes on..........- but still awaiting the 2xTC - been waiting weeks none available yet).

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    BPN Member haseeb badar's Avatar
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    Hi Steve -- Again , superb image quality and nice light. Must have been some sighting in terms of natural history moment. Shooting conditions not ideal with that big tele and zodiac but still you have got a very sharp image with excellent details.
    I particularly didn't liked that bkg , would have preferred a cleaner bkg. Closed eyes not an issue as the light was hitting the subject but ideally I would have loved an open eye ( personal preference ). Also I would have liked to see the face of the other Bear, I am 50-50 on it being not completely visible, (again personal preference).

    TFS !

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    Wildlife Moderator Steve Kaluski's Avatar
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    Jon, you will know it when you see the magazine, as it has a PB close up. Yes, a lot of folk are waiting for the 2x and the boffins ARE listening to the Pros to deliver what the market needs it seems from the chat I had the other night, so be patient. However, my fear is that Olympus will gain ground with a lot of new stuff and constantly updating, but unsure how that will pan out with bank balances, as you buy a new body and a year later another updated version is launched...

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    Wildlife Moderator Steve Kaluski's Avatar
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    I particularly didn't liked that bkg , would have preferred a cleaner bkg. Closed eyes not an issue as the light was hitting the subject but ideally I would have loved an open eye ( personal preference ). Also I would have liked to see the face of the other Bear, I am 50-50 on it being not completely visible, (again personal preference).
    The background is what it is Haseeb, soil, nothing you can do sadly as it was on the shore. Eyes, I think folk get to hung up at times, for me its the pose, taking the raise and pausing between bites. Head up, these bears are interested in one thing, putting on pounds, so any chance of feeding on any scarps then thats the main plan. It's one of those times when I think you needed to be there to understand the location, as they just kept on moving and eating, plus the zodiac is constantly in flux too, so it's hard to get anything contains all the elements folk want.

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    BPN Member haseeb badar's Avatar
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    HI Steve -- I definitely understand what you are saying, one definitely has to be there to understand the settings and situation. You can get all the ideal scenarios.

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    Wildlife Moderator Steve Kaluski's Avatar
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    HI Steve -- I definitely understand what you are saying, one definitely has to be there to understand the settings and situation. You can get all the ideal scenarios.
    In situations like this Haseeb it's often easy to describe in a conversation than trying to type because you can miss things and don't have that real time interaction and in talking you can convey so much more. Not sure how Loi got on with the 600, nightmare I would assume!!!

    It will be interesting to see another person from BPN fairs next year in Svalbard, albeit not a Wildlife bod.

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    BPN Member Sanjeev Aurangabadkar's Avatar
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    Hi Steve, a nice moment captured with the feeding behaviour and the sweet light. The rib cage adds nice content to the frame. I know its tight and difficult scenario but you did manage well.

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