National Parks,  Photo Stories,  Wildlife

Photo Story: Yellowstone Grizzly Mating Chase

I had just finished photographing the sunrise at Duck Lake in Yellowstone National Park and I decided to drive the East Entrance Road looking for Grizzlies. As I got past Yellowstone Lake, I noticed some commotion in the woods. 

Male Grizzly on the Run

A large male Grizzly was chasing a smaller female Grizzly thru the woods at full speed.  The male Grizzly had one thing on his mind but she wanted nothing to do with him.  The male was foaming at the mouth from running so hard.

I followed the two grizzlies as they were running up and down mountains and across roads.  The female Grizzly finally stopped on a ridge across from a pullout where she was carefully watching to ensure the boar Grizzly was not still on her trail.

Boar Grizzly on the Run

I saw the male Grizzly cross the road just before the pull out. He either lost her trail or got spooked off by the crowd that was now gathering at the pull out.  Once the female Grizzly felt the coast was clear, she slowly walked over the ridge and out of sight.

Now I know why they say that you can't out run a Grizzly.  The two were running extremely fast thru the woods, across roads, and up and down mountains.  These photos aren't my best work but they do document this amazing nature story. 

Yellowstone Grizzly Keeping Watch


Camera:  Canon 7d
Lens:   Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 IS II + 1.4x Teleconverter
Focal Length:  255mm
ISO:  500
Aperture:   f/5.0
Shutter Speed: 1/500 of a second
Exposure Compensation: +2/3
Lighting: Shady with sunlight peeking thru the trees


  • Cropped the photo in Lightroom 5.
  • In the Lightroom 5 Develop Module, lightened the shadows and reduced noise with the luminance slider.
  • Used the Natural Boost II filter in Topaz Clarity to give the photo some contrast pop and saturation.
  • Selectively lightened and darkened the image using Viveza 2 from Google.
  • Selectively reduced noise in the photo using Topaz DeNoise
    and a layer mask.
  • Selectively sharpened the photo using the Unsharp Mask Filter in Photoshop CC 2014.

Written by Martin Belan

Related Blog Posts
Photographing Wildlife at Yellowstone
Photo Story:  Yellowstone Bison Jam
Yellowstone Wildlife Photography – What Lenses to Bring

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