“Spirit Bear” – Coastal British Columbia, Canada – Iain Williams – Featured Photographer   55 comments




“Spirit Bear” – Coastal British Columbia, Canada – Iain Williams – Featured Photographer

I remember the first time I ever saw a photo of this beautiful bear was in National Geographic magazine several years ago.  This photograph would have blended in well with the article. I can’t help but think of this spirit bear as being a wise old elder at the sacred fishing grounds.  Iain does an amazing job of not only capturing the bear’s expression, but the fish as well.   Please read the story and then visit Ian’s just as spectacular blog and website!



Here is Iain:

The Kermode Bear (Ursus americanus kermodei) is a sub species of the American Black Bear.  It lives deep within the temperate rainforest in British Columbia, Canada and is often referred to as the Spirit Bear.  The creamy-white coloring of the bear’s coat is not caused by albinism, but a recessive allele.  It’s estimated that there are between 400-1000 individuals in the wild, the bear owing its survival to the indigenous people who featured the bear’s ghost-like appearance in their mythology and never hunted the bear or mentioned its existent to early fur trappers.

The photograph was taken along a creek line which is assessable only by live aboard boat and hiking.  I timed my visit with the salmon spawning season as the bears come out of the rainforest to fish for salmon as the fish make their way upstream to spawn.  It was raining heavily on the day I took this photograph and keeping the camera equipment dry was difficult.  I placed myself at the forest edge adjacent to the junction of two streams and waited until the bears made their way downstream to fish.  I used a sturdy tripod, Canon 500/f4.5 lens and a Canon EOS 1D MKIII camera.  The available light was minimal due to overcast skies and rain necessitating an ISO of 400 at 1/250th at f4.5.

Interestingly, bears with white coats have a greater chance of catching fish than black bears.   This is because the fish finds it difficult to see the bear’s white coloring.

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55 responses to “Spirit Bear” – Coastal British Columbia, Canada – Iain Williams – Featured Photographer

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  1. Beautiful photos. I could spend all day looking through this site. Stunning photos! Have a nice day. Renee 🙂

  2. One of these bears ran out of the woods and crossed right in front of my car a few years ago (I live in BC) – I didn’t believe my eyes at first- but the man in the car behind me told me that he had seen it as well. Beautiful photo!

  3. Pingback: “Charging Brown Bear” – Brooks Falls, Alaska – Charles Glatzer - Featured Photographer

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  7. I’ve never seen an actual photograph of something like this – it has always been in a movie, sometimes animated! Really great shot, looks like it was taken with the perfect timing.

  8. Rebologged on lightwords

  9. Reblogged this on Light Words and commented:
    The rare sighing of the Spirit Bear is a symbol of hope and healing. I am posting it in time for the Virgo Full Moon. March 8th. It brings to light how well we blend the analytical awareness of the mind with the compassionate wisdom of the heart. May it be so

  10. So beautiful – AND I learned something new!

  11. I love bears. Especially the polar and the grizzly. What a beautiful photo.

  12. Gorgeous shot! The “feel” of it makes me feel right there, observing the bear…you can just feel the water drops falling. Great work!

  13. Amazing.. wow.. your pics are all so BEAUTIFUL… thanks alot..

  14. outstanding shot!

  15. Love it. Shared!

  16. Fascinating text. Riveting photo.

  17. beautiful shot, I love it.

  18. Great post and what a bear! 🙂 Bears always have fascinated me, especially when they are at a good distance! 🙂

  19. Excellent capture!!

  20. I’ve heard the Kermode bears are most commonly found around Terrace BC and Princess Royal Island.

  21. Thank you I wanted to see A Spirit Bear when I went to Alaska, I believe this is as close as I will get. Beautiful

  22. What a beautiful creature!

  23. Thanks for the like! Also I LOVE THIS BLOG! So much eye candy!

  24. Amazing! We wish we could catch fish out of a river for dinner.
    Bella and DiDi

  25. That’s one great catch for this bear! amazing details!

  26. Reblogged this on Bill: The Mortgage Guy and commented:
    WOW!! This Blog has the best pictures!!!

  27. Nice shot! Lunchtime!

  28. A beautiful photograph. I wonder what distance there was between the photographer and the bear?!

  29. Beautiful photograph! Simply stunning!
    And thanks for the “like” on my post yesterday. n___n-b

  30. Reblogged this on MY BLOG ~.

  31. I wanted to leave a comment on your About page (but I don’t think I can…) to let you know I love this blog! Great images and one a day is just perfect. I really could use help with my indecipherable Cannon (their first digital model) but I can’t explain over email. Anyway, I will look for tips on your blog, maybe…? Keep up the great work.

  32. I reblogged on the Donkey Whisperer Farm 🙂

  33. I’ve never seen a white ebar before.Great photo.

  34. Thats a great picture a magnificent creature. I just hope that they will be around for my grandkids to see and not just to read about in books on the web. Thanks for sharing.

  35. My father says that polar bears can live very well eating the trash from human dumps, and don’t need ice or the cold climate in which they thrive. While I disagree, vehemently, he is a human being, and I would never deny him the things he needs to live his life the way he wants it. Hopefully, he will come to understand this.

  36. I certainly thought that I was looking at an albino bear…. Your story proved very interesting; thank you… Great capture… 😉

    • The spirit bear is not an albino.

      This colour morph is due to a recessive allele common in the population. They are not albinos[1] and not any more related to polar bears or the “blonde” brown bears of Alaska’s “ABC Islands” than other members of their species.

      Thanks for your comment, Iain

  37. oh men! the fish made the bear less kawaii

  38. Excellent photo. Interesting story.

  39. Nature is an amazing thing — stunning animal, captured in a lovely image.

  40. An excellent story. I’m glad they are still around to be photographed.

  41. unforgettable… nice

  42. Love the photo and learning more about the Spirit Bear!

  43. You guys always have such fantastic photos to share. Kudos on another fine shot!

  44. *Thank you*….what a beautiful photo and story and generosity,.. letting us also see this moment. I really like the part about the white bear being able to catch fish better because of its white coat:)

  45. What a beautiful animal!

  46. WOW, great photo!

  47. Amazing photo!

  48. These animals shots are so wonderful. Even the fish looks happy. Keep-em comin Charlie.

  49. Stunning photography! Love it! 🙂

  50. You sure do have a knack for catching some great pictures. I’ve spent countless hours with camera on tripod waiting for perfect pictures, and know the patience that it takes. I spent 3 months one summer getting close to a couple of young male foxes in PEI, to wondrous results.

  51. Beautiful photo … and the bear looks so peaceful – why shouldn’t he .. just got his lunch fixed.

  52. Reblogged this on Chaos Sweeps Away the World We Know! The Disaster, current events & Catastrophe Blog. Forecasts for 2012 to 2020. Read tomorrows news today! Plus current economic, commodities, stock indices and financial news. and commented:
    March 3, 2012: Thanks to the “PhotoBobos.com” blog for these great pictures.
    Bill Foster
    aka: The Master of Disater

  53. Reblogged this on ATA MOTEK.

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