The Eyes Have it!

_djc6751It is easy to get carried away by dramatic wildlife like the Alaskan Brown Bears (aka Grizzly Bears) we’re busy photographing her in Alaska but to communicate in a photograph it is all but essential to have clear and sharp eyes in addition to a clean composition and a compelling subject…

_djc6751When I saw this bear approaching us across the beach I started by framing the image to allow plenty of room for the claws while still getting the entire head—and putting the focus point in the upper part of the frame. That let me track the focus so that the eyes were tack sharp.

The next key is timing. Watching carefully for a time when both eyes were visible with a catchlight in them I snapped away once I got what I was looking for. The result is the appearance of direct communication with the bear while a shot a few seconds earlier or later would have been much less dramatic.

All the resulting shot needed was some raw pre-sharpening and a touch of tonal contrast to bring out the texture in the fur and it was ready to go.

So when you’re photographing wildlife remember that “The Eyes Have It!”

Of course if you’d like to have some photo opportunities like this of your own we hope you’ll join us on a future photo safari.