“It was ‘road lottery’ day at Denali National Park in Alaska. It’s a rare gift to get drawn, and if you do, you can drive your own vehicle into the park as far as you dare. This was Sept. 17, and we were already feeling the first bite of winter that far north. We were just past the Eielson Visitor Center when we came upon this massive sow grizzly bear. She was rooting around in the tundra for late berries. This is one of the finest bears I’ve seen in Alaska, with no marks on her fur and ready for winter.”
See more of Carl Smith’s photography at crsphotoworks.com.
Canon EOS 7D, Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary. Exposure: 1/180 sec., ƒ/5.6, ISO 400.
“I drove around one day, all day last December in Pine County, Minnesota, looking for birds, hawks and owls, and saw nothing. On the way home, I noticed a hawk perched on the top of a tree near a farm. I stopped a good distance away so I wouldn’t scare the bird. I walked closer with my photo gear ready to shoot. I paused every few steps closer to get some shots before the hawk flew away. When I was about 50 feet from the hawk, I stopped—lens aimed and ready to shoot the moment the bird spread its wings. I noticed that my ISO was only 100 at ƒ/5.6, so I increased the aperture to 7.1, hoping to keep the full wingspan in focus. I had never seen a white morph rough-legged hawk before; initially I thought that it was a red-tailed hawk.”
See more of Pamela Walz’s photography at pamwalzcreativephotography.com.
Canon EOS 7D Mark II, Canon EF 400mm f/4 DO IS II USM with 1.4x teleconverter. Exposure: 1/1000 sec., ƒ/7.1, ISO 250.
“While leading a photo safari at Sabi Sands Game Reserve in South Africa, we found this leopard relaxing on a termite mound. The sun had just gone down, but we still caught the last warm color of sunset. Always hoping to maximize a great photo opp, after a few hundred quick shots, I suggested we try shooting from the opposite side of the termite mound. Now 180 degrees from the setting sun, this blue-hour opportunity and cool tree revealed itself. The leopard was lit with a spotlight held by the guide; a guide from another vehicle also had a light on him.”
See more of Daryl L. Hunter’s photography at theholepicturesafaris.com.
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS USM, MeFOTO GlobeTrotter carbon fiber tripod used as a monopod. Exposure: 1/320 sec., ƒ/4, ISO 1250.