Forest Path

Towards the end of Fall 2019, I had the fortune to tag along with a friend and visit the Great Bear Rainforest (GBRF) in Canada. It was such a great experience shooting there and I hope I will be able to visit again one day. I have brought home quite a number of pictures and I am still going through them. Slowly. (If this is gonna be my only visit, I want this collection to last for a while :rofl:

I was working on this image just a few days ago and I think this might actually fit the theme of this week’s WC. This lady is Ma’ah, the most famous kermode bear in the GBRF. She has gained her reputation through Paul Nicklen’s and Ian McCallister’s works. One of my goals on this trip was to capture animalscape and as it turned out, it was harder than I thought. Without the animal subject, it was already difficult to compose a cohesive forest scene. With the animal subject added into the mix, it was extremely hard to get the subject in the right pose in the right place. Keep in mind that the subject is completely wild. I am still at the point where 98% of my animalscape images are pure luck. Hopefully I would be able to reduce that number a bit and attribute the image to careful planning and design. This is one of such lucky shot where I was able to capture her as she walked through a trail across the river from where we stood. It was a great experience.

For full disclosure, I have re-built some of the green patches near the LL corner. There was an OOF leaf that covers that area and it was super annoying to leave there. Content aware fill was my best-friend in this case.

Nikon D5, 200mm, f/5, 1/500, ISO 5000



Very beautiful, evocative image, Adhika ! Your control of the tones reveals just enough of the backdrop to set the context for the presentation of the bear.

Adhika, this is a great look at this bear in her environment. The patch of sun that lights her and the path create a look reminiscent of the “Hudson River” school of painting (mid 1800s) where there was often a well lit subject in a dark setting.

The dark green forest makes a striking background for this unusual bear. His pose is great, also. It wasn’t just luck that makes this a wonderful shot, Adhika. You put yourself there and you snapped the shutter at a great moment, and it is processed beautifully!

Incredible scene Adhika! The head turn and side pose are just right. The light on the bear is incredible and with such a bright subject in a dark setting, it renders the forest an eerie, dark, foreboding place reducing the distracting elements that forests like this usually bring to a scene. I can’t think of a single thing you could do to make this image any better. Lucky or not, you were prepared for the shot when the shot presented itself. Well done Adhika.

Adhika, I believe this is about as good as one could possibly hope to capture. Perfect subject with the head turn, and the ray of light on the subject and the bear only, I don’t think you could order it any better. Great shot. I hope you get to go back too.

I agree with all the others: Great capture and skillful processing.

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Your image has a storybook quality, like something from Hansel and Gretel. Love it.

Love the image and story, Adhika. I’m envious of your adventure.

The only criticism I have is that the white border is a stark contrast to the dark forest and with my glare-prone vision, I miss some of the detail in those shadows.

@Ian_Wolfenden, @Mark_Seaver, @Kathy_Barnhart, @David_Haynes, @Shirley_Freeman, @Katharina_Hilgers, @Igor_Doncov, @Matt_Lancaster : thanks, guys!

The fact that the bear is white also helps to create this kind of exposure. Since they are basically black bears when one of the black fur ones had been in this position, the effect wouldn’t be so striking, I think.

Btw, did you guys notice the leaf that covers her behind? I was thinking about cloning it but I thought I would leave it as kind of an Easter egg.

Indeed, Matt. Admittedly, I only use white because it’s the easiest to set up. In my archive and when uploading to my website, I do not keep the borders. I would definitely not use white when I mat an actual print of this for the very reason you mention.

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Adhika, I didn’t realize that was a leaf. I didn’t know what to think it was, but it reminded me of the toilet paper commercial with the bears! :grinning:

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