Tag Archives: bears

The Cutest Grizzly Bears




“Mom? What are those things on two feet back there? They have HUGE glassy eyes pointed at me. There are at least 8 eyes. I’m not sure about this, can I hide behind you?”

OK, so we’re not supposed to anthropomorphize with wildlife, right? But how can we resist when one cute cub peeks out from behind the safety of Mom to watch us? I mean, you can tell it’s so curious, but timid. It hasn’t learned yet that we come in peace, to watch, enjoy, and photograph its antics. And with all those glass lenses pointed at it, no wonder it’s uncertain of things! It flicks an ear and motor-drives whir…

I have such a good time on these bear tours that I lead in Alaska. The bears are very habituated, which makes for photographic opportunities that you would not easily get elsewhere, such as Sows letting their cubs get close to us and having her wander off to feed while we “baby-sit” the cubs! That’s pretty unheard of unless the bears have a trust in us.

For this tour, you don’t have to have extreme telephoto lenses, although they can be useful. I found that my 500mm on a full frame camera was often too close and had to resort to using the 100-400mm on that camera body instead. I used my 70-200mm on my 7D body and the 100-400mm on the Mark III and that setup worked great.

You also don’t have to be an expert at wildlife photography – I’ll be there to help you with settings and techniques for handling longer lenses and shooting action. (It does help to have a good working knowledge of photography and your particular camera, however).

I have only 4 spaces left at this point for the July 2015 tour.  It promises to be another great year for bear photography!


Enjoy, and thanks for visiting,







 “I can see my toes!”

Posted in Brenda Tharp's Photo Blog, nature photography, Photo Blog, photography, The Blog, wildlife photography, workshops & photo tours Also tagged , , , , , , , |

Dreaming of Alaska – again

I’ll admit it. I have a strong wanderlust. My list of ‘I wanna go there’ places is too long to even begin to write down – and when it comes times to choose where I might go each year, it’s darn hard to commit to just a few. Leading tours, I do go back to some places a few times, because it makes sense from a business point of view, and because I feel that I get to know the place more that way. But soon enough, I feel the need to move on to new territory for a while. But there are a few places that I dearly love, and Alaska is one of them. Southeast Alaska, to be exact; the Inside Passage.



It’s a place that grows on you – and not just because it rains a lot and everything grows there. It’s the freshest air I’ve breathed – moist, cool and earthy. Waking up on the boat to the sounds of eagles calling, or sea lions barking in the distance, perhaps a whale blow – well it’s just about the best way to wake up – that and the smell of brewing coffee in the salon will pull me from my warm sleeping bag to the deck. Each day is different – we go ashore about every other day, to explore a trail, watch bears, tide-pool, etc. In between we have a great moving platform (the boat) that takes us through the area, while we learn more about the ecology, geology, and how to make the special dishes that come out of an insanely compact galley!











Nights and days are peaceful, and peace-inducing – as you motor through beautiful, reflective waters,often with a mirror-like surface. Then suddenly, a whale pops up – out of nowhere – and all peace is lost – frenzy takes its place as you scramble to get your camera to your eye and activate the shutter. Because you see, you can’t stand at-the-ready with your finger on the shutter the whole time, you’re battery will go dead (and so will your finger). So it’s always a surprise, a delight, when the whales appear.

In between the scenery never changes – it’s always serenely beautiful, and you come to know why the Tongass National Forest is such a special forest…and now you know why I keep going back!


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If you’re interested, I’m leading a photo tour beginning in Hoonah, Alaska, and ending in Wrangell, Alaska. It’s across the best of the best of the inside passage – whales, bears, sea lions, seals, birds, forests, glaciers, more bears, and dramatic weather. Scheduled for July 31-August 9, 2014. Please consider joining me and my fellow pro photographer Jed Manwaring on this amazing experience.

Offered in partnership with Dolphin Charters. Visit there site for more info and to register. Visit mine for a few more photos to whet your appetite!






Posted in Brenda Tharp's Photo Blog, general photography, Landscape Photography, nature photography, photography, The Blog, wildlife photography, workshops & photo tours Also tagged , , , , , , , , , |

Now that feels good!

  • Tharp-GrizzlyBear-1041



On my photo tour to photograph bears, one foggy morning we drove out to the mouth of the river to see if any bears were fishing. We found this one, but it was tired and lay down on the sand in front of us to rest. Amazing that they are so habituated to people that they will do this just 60 feet away! While we were photographing it would periodically pick up its head and look around, and we made some nice pictures of that, but twice, she stretched, and I loved the gesture! It was ust like we stretch, you could feel how good she felt and the look of contentment on her face was definitely there.


I’ll have more pictures from this great trip soon, arrived home on Friday to a HUGE pile of apples that need processing off our apple tree along with a bzillion emails since I didn’t have reliable cell or internet service while at the lodge. Always good to be home, but what a wonderful trip we all had with bear cubs playing, nursing, etc!



Posted in Brenda Tharp's Photo Blog, nature photography, Photo Blog, photography, The Blog, wildlife photography, workshops & photo tours Also tagged , , , , |

Welcome to the New Blog

I’ll bet you’re as curious as this little guy is – about my new website and blog site!

This blog is now live – hopefully everything will work OK!

Posted in Brenda Tharp's Photo Blog, photo news, The Blog Also tagged , , , |