The transitory nature of constant travel often precludes any intimacy with the subject matter. One can travel within a culture for months, but he never really knows the culture without staying in one spot long enough to experience firsthand individual people, their daily rituals, customs and social institutions and how they interact with other people (including invasive photographers!), their surroundings and the outside world.
Animals in the wild are no different. To photograph a bear up close – although a thrilling experience – provides little insight into the subject and leaves the photographer gratified, but detached. To actually get to know the bears individually, to gain their trust and to observe them up close in the wild in their habitat – in their culture – on a daily basis five months a year is beyond description.
The two FEATURED galleries are a crowded tent slum in the Punjab in India where I twice spent several weeks as a guest and remote Alaska where, after working eight seasons as a bear guide, I continue to hold annual photography workshops featuring the almighty Coastal Brown Bears. I’m profoundly grateful for both experiences and to those people who made each possible. These experiences have forever changed my preconceptions of a slum-dweller being down-trodden, dirty and undignified and the bear a dangerous, aggressive killing-machine, devoid of emotion and stupid.
var _gaq = _gaq || ; _gaq.push(['_setAccount', 'UA-38221239-1']); _gaq.push(['_trackPageview']);