A brown bear digs for clams along the beach at Hallo Bay in the early morning light. What words can do scenes like this justice? Canon EOS 1Ds Mark II,  EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS.

The Rugged Serenity of Hallo Bay

Our third and final day of the trip was spent at Hallo Bay, Alaska. After cruising through the night, we awoke to a breathtakingly beautiful and serene landscape of mountains, bays, and rugged glaciers. The environment had lost some of the lushness of our earlier locations, trading it for a loping arctic style tundra. Tidal flats seemed to stretch for miles from the beach into the interior. Over it all towered huge glacier formations. For the first time we felt as if we had found the Alaska of our imagining.

Over the previous two days I had been happy shooting with my long lens, focusing on action and expression. However, here I was compelled to try to capture the bears as a part of this amazing natural landscape, as in the photograph above. It was a truly elemental place.

While shooting at Hallo Bay we encountered an Alaskan red fox that tolerated close approaches by our group (right). I was even able to capture this unique moment with a wide angle lens.

Sadly, we speculated that it had grown used to people for having been offered food some time in the past. "Baiting," as this practice is known, is considered bad practice among serious wildlife photographers because it can create artificial dependencies in wild animals, upsetting the razor thin balance that often makes the difference between death and life.

As the noon hour passed and the day lengthened into afternoon, all too soon it was time to head back to the Kittiwake to prepare for our float plane trip back to Kodiak. I had a great experience; I hope you have enjoyed some of the photographs.

Above, right: Red fox, Hallo Bay, Alaska. Canon EOS 1Ds Mark II, EF 24-70mm f/2.8L.

 

A mother and cub at rest on the wet sand in Hallo Bay. On the day we were there few salmon were running in the
streams near the beach, and the bears waited with a quiet grace. Canon EOS 1Ds Mark II, EF 500mm f/4.0L IS.

 

A mother and cub are framed by mountains and glacier at Hallo Bay, Alaska. Canon EOS 1Ds Mark II, EF
70-200mm f/2.8L IS, EF Extender 2X.

 

Robley, a crew member for the Waters, pilots the skiff as we approach the shore. Canon EOS 1Ds Mark II, EF
16-35mm f/2.8L, 550EX.

 

A bear fishes in the shallow river near the shore at Hallo Bay, Alaska. Canon EOS
1Ds Mark II, EF 500mm f/4.0L IS.

From left to right: Nancy Lewis, Brad Josephs, and Bob Kennewick on the beach at Hallo Bay. Everywhere you
ooked there was something to photograph. Canon EOS 1Ds Mark II, EF 24-70mm f/2.8L.

 

Alaskan red fox, Hallo Bay, Alaska. Canon EOS 1Ds, Mark II, EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS.

 

John Rogers, captain and owner of the Kittiwake, handles the lines as our group prepares to depart for our trip
back to Kodiak on our last day. Canon EOS 1Ds Mark II, EF 24-70mm f/2.8L.

 

Our pilot Fred and his Dehavilland Beaver await our departure from Hallo Bay, Alaska. Canon EOS 1Ds Mark II,
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L.