Yellowstone Grizzly Cub
National Parks,  Photo Stories,  Wildlife

Photo Story: Yellowstone Grizzly Mom and Cub

It was one of the biggest bear jams that I had ever seen in Yellowstone National Park.  Cars were parked everywhere and several rangers were on the scene.  People had climbed the ladders on their RV to get a glimpse of the mother grizzly and her first year cub.

Grizzly Mom and Cub

Unfortunately, we had gotten there a bit late.  The bears were far away and the action only lasted about 10 minutes before the bears retreated off into the pine forest.  Talking to other people at the bear jam, I found out that the mother grizzly had two other cubs and they had drowned in the fast moving water of the Gibbon River.

It was still a treat to see the mother grizzly with her young cub.  The grizzly cub was separated from mom for most of the time that we watched but not too far away.  The cub was also imitating mom’s behavior in digging for food. The cub also wanted to play with mom when she approached signaling that it was time to move on.

Grizzly Mom and Cub, Yellowstone

Grizzly Photo Details (for the First Photo)

Camera:  Canon 5d Mark III
Lens:   Canon 500mm f/4 IS + 1.4x Teleconverter III
Focal Length:  700mm
ISO:  500
Aperture:   f/7.1
Shutter Speed: 1/1250 of a second
Exposure Compensation: +0
Lighting: Sunny, Late Afternoon

Bear Photo Processing

  • Cropped the photo in Lightroom 5.
  • Added detail to the cub and foreground using the Detail Extractor Filter in Color Efex Pro 4
  • Added contrast and pop to the photo by using the Fur and Feathers I filter in Topaz Clarity.
  • Selectively lightened and darkened the image using Viveza from the Nik Collection.
  • Returned to Color Efex Pro 4 using the Darken/Lighten Center and Vignette Lens filters to highlight the grizzly cub as the subject.
  • 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

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Yellowstone Wildlife Photography – What Lenses to Bring

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