Tag Archives: Zoo

Fierce Polar Bear, Journey to Churchill

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I really got lucky on this day photographing the Polar Bears swimming underwater at The Journey to Churchill.   My wife and I have been members and visited them well over a dozen times and only seen this behaviour once.

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Dinosaurs Alive! Assiniboine Park Zoo, Winnipeg

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More images from the life-sized dinosaurs at Dinosaurs Alive! at Winnipeg’s Assiniboine Park Zoo.  These are great for practicing wildlife photography technique.  They move very slowly and don’t require long telephoto lenses.  I treated these like any wildlife close up or environmental portrait, just without my usual long lenses.  In fact, most were shot between 16 and 70 mm on a full frame camera.  Lighting and exposure can be a little tricky because of the midday sun angle, but any modern dslr or mirrorless camera can recover highlights and pull out any shadow detail.  So if you can, shoot in RAW and you will end up with some pretty unusual images.

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Polar Bears swimming underwater at the Journey to Churchill, Winnipeg, Manitoba

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This is without a doubt one of the most memorable things i’ve ever seen.  Regardless of your personal views on wildlife kept in captivity, the Journey to Churchill at Assiniboine Park Zoo in Winnipeg is an amazing facility.  In collaberation with The International Polar Bear Centre also located at Winnipeg’s zoo it allows visitors a chance to view Polar Bears in a very unique way.  This is Kaska an orphaned female relocated from Churchill, Manitoba after her mother was shot and killed.

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Shooting through the thick curved plexiglass and the variety of lighting and reflections is very tricky, but with a fast indoor lens and a little experimentation I managed a few keepers.  Images were high iso, grainy and pretty soft through the glass and water, even the best autofocus systems have trouble through 6-8 inches of curved plexiglass, but it’s more about the moment than technical perfection.

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Visitors viewing Kaska

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For a brief period we watched two bears play under the water.

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