Wednesday, August 21, 2013 at 3:14PM
Craig Meyers

Did you ever find yourself "remembering" something you've known for years? In June, I went back to Alaska to photograph bears. The opportunity to be near and photograph the great coastal brown bears is just something to be experienced. Before I left for Alaska, I went through my photographs from a previous trip to try to find out what I did right and what I'd done wrong. Actually, sometimes it's not right or wrong, but your tastes and ideas change over time as your style evolves. One of the things I noticed as I looked over the photos I liked from the previous trip was that many of them were taken from a different perspective, so I resolved to make some changes this trip.

This photo is more like many that I shot the first trip.

There's really nothing wrong with this shot. It's not a bad photo of this young sow standing on a bed of kelp at the water's edge. One thing I notice is that the bear looks small. Now, she's not huge, but probably weighs five or six hundred poiunds. What makes her look small is that the photo was shot from a vantage point higher than the bear, looking down at her.

Now this fellow is a bigger bear, but looks even larger because I shot this photo pretty much at eye level with the bear. Notice how big and powerful he looks.

Now I was actually laying on the ground for this photo. I wanted to be looking up at the bear if possible to make him look as large and imposing as possible. Also from this angle, the background looks even more interesting.

How many times have I told people to try to get on the same level as their subjects? It's especially something we tell people to do when photographing children. It works with wildlife too. As I look back over my photographs over the years, it's just hard to beat being low in relation to the subject.

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