Big Black Bear, Yellowstone National Park

Photo of large cinnamon black bear.

Big Boy

About the only negative to wildlife photography in Yellowstone is having to go through all your photos to separate the chaff from the wheat.  I shoot about 1,000 images a day and there is no time to go through them until I get home.  Going through 14,000 images is a daunting task.    I’ve started with black bears and I still have 1,800 black bear photos to delete or save.

This photo was taken at sunset at Phantom Lake using a 500mm lens and 1.4 tele-extender.  When shooting early and late in the day the delete rate goes up because it gets harder to stop subject movement.  This image was shot at 125th of a second at ISO 2,000.  I don’t like raising the ISO much above 800 but I had to go to 2000 to make sure I at least got some sharp photos of the animal standing still and, hopefully, moving as well.

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About Jim Coda

I am a nature photographer living in the San Francisco Bay Area. I specialize in photos of birds, mammals, and landscapes.
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10 Responses to Big Black Bear, Yellowstone National Park

  1. Greg says:

    Back to enjoy your images again, Jim – in anticipation of our upcoming trip… Do you bring a lot of CF cards with you, or do you download to perhaps and external drive? I’m guessing you shoot RAW, which is a lot of data…

  2. John Wall says:

    Sounds like an embarrassment of riches. You’ll have plenty to keep you occupied for a long time. I always find it hard to move on to the next thing if I haven’t wrapped up the current batch of photos, but I’ve never been faced with 14,000 images to sort out!

    • Jim Coda says:

      John, just wait ’til you go to Yellowstone.

      • John Wall says:

        I’ve really gotta do that. I should plan for it next year.

      • Jim Coda says:

        You should. My favorite time is for the bears and babies in late May/early June. My second most favorite time is late September/early October for the elk rut and bear hyperphagia (when the bears eat as much as possible before hibernating).

      • Steven Sutton says:

        Hi Jim
        We are going to Yellowstone first week of June.Do you have any favorite spots to find the grizzly bear or wolves?Moose?I’ve been twice in October,but anxiuos to see it in late spring.Thanks

      • Jim Coda says:

        You’ll have a good chance of seeing grizzlies and wolves in the Lamar Valley, but usually they are far away. Look for black bears around Tower. Moose are fairly rare in Yellowstone. You have a better chance of seeing them in Grand Teton. Good luck!

      • Steven Sutton says:

        Thank you.We will hit Grand Teton Park first and then try our luck in Yellowstone thereafter.
        Point Reyes is a hidden gem that many don’t enjoy.The days I’m there(mid week)there is hardly anyone else.Awesome Place!!!!!

      • Jim Coda says:

        I agree Steven. Weekends can get too crowded.

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