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Sometimes Your Favorite Shots Aren't Necessarily Your Best Shots

When we were in Alaska last year we had the incredible opportunity to stay at Silver Salmon Creek Lodge that's located on the edge of Lake Clark National Park. When you stay at the lodge they assign a guide to take you out every day in search of the bears. The bears in this area are so used to seeing humans every day that they don't see them as a threat. This allows you to get very close - heaven for a photographer.

Unfortunately the 4 days we were there were very rainy. We had been out all day in the rain and although it was July, it was still very chilly. On our way back to the lodge we came across this mother bear and her 3 cubs. She had been investigating a local cabin and decided it was time to leave, but her cubs decided to ignore her and continue playing with some wood they'd found.

After walking for a while and realizing her cubs weren't following her, she circled back to retrieve them. When her cubs heard her approaching two of them got onto their hind legs to make sure it was their mother approaching. I think it's such a cute picture, as it looks like they got caught in the act of doing something wrong, as if to say "Uh oh, mom's back. We're in trouble now!"

And although it was getting dark and I really had to push my ISO to get the shot, I was able to pull it into Photoshop and make something of it. For this image I did the following:

- Used Topaz De-Noise to smooth out a lot of the grain

- Used Nik Detail Extractor to bring out the detail in the cubs' fur

- Used Topaz Impressions II, Cave Dweller I to bring out the gold and rust tones in the grasses

- Used Topaz Impressions II, Concrete Chalk to soften the overall look of the image

So, although technically speaking this is not the best shot I've ever taken, it's still one of my favorites because of the memories it brings back.

(Clicking on the image will open a new full-sized window for viewing or purchase.)

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