Wild Brown Bears in Black and White

Amongst the cotton grass, a young Finnish Brown Bear stands on his back legs captured during the NaturesLens Wild Brown Bears of Finland Photography Holiday

Before my trip to Finland to photograph the Wild Brown Bears, I knew that I wanted to come away with a series of compelling & exciting black & white photographs.

With wildlife photography, you can use monochrome to highlight the details of the animal or draw your viewers eyes directly to the subject of your image.

B&W images are also useful in turning distracting backgrounds into a dark uncluttered one. Probably the biggest reason I love shooting this way is that it keeps you focused on the actual composition & texture of the photo. It allows you to focus on shapes, light, shadows, lines, & small details, allowing for a more exciting image. That is why some photos look more convincing & compelling in black & white than colour.

Amongst the cotton grass, a young Finnish Brown Bear stands on his back legs captured during the NaturesLens Wild Brown Bears of Finland Photography Holiday Another of the young Finnish Bears approaches through the cotton grass captured during the NaturesLens Wild Brown Bears of Finland Photography Holiday

I chose to shoot this way a lot during the Wild Brown Bears of Finland workshop. It worked perfectly in the low light conditions as this produced naturally darker shadows throughout the scene. It was just a matter of waiting for the right composition & placing the Bears against these darker backgrounds to create a high contrast look. Due to the low positioning of the sun, the Bears often had the sunlight behind them, allowing for some beautiful soft backlight again helping them stand out against the background more.

One of the big male Brown Bears approaches from lake captured during the NaturesLens Wild Brown Bears of Finland Photography Holiday One of the big male Brown Bears approaches the lake captured during the NaturesLens Wild Brown Bears of Finland Photography Holiday

For anyone who has not tried black & white photography before then, you are missing out! If anyone wants to give it a go, then it needs to be done differently from how you would typically shoot. You need to look at your subject & imagine it without colour (it seems obvious I know).

Look at the shadows, highlights & contrast rather than seeing the scene its usual way. This is a huge benefit and allows you to see your subject in a completely different light. You will find yourself focusing on specific parts of your subject & image that you would usually overlook. Once you get into the black & white way of thinking, your photographs will show the character of the subject in a completely different way.

One of the big male Brown Bears approaches through the cotton grass captured during the NaturesLens Wild Brown Bears of Finland Photography Holiday One of the big male Brown Bears stares directly at the photography hide captured during the NaturesLens Wild Brown Bears of Finland Photography Holiday One of the Finnish Bears approaches through the cotton grass captured during the NaturesLens Wild Brown Bears of Finland Photography Holiday One of the large male Brown Bears ambles through the long grass adjacent to one of the lakes captured during the NaturesLens Wild Brown Bears of Finland Photography Holiday One of the young brown bears checks out the area before approaching for food captured during the NaturesLens Wild Brown Bears of Finland Photography Holiday One of the young Finnish Bears approaches through the cotton grass captured during the NaturesLens Wild Brown Bears of Finland Photography Holiday

WOULD YOU LIKE TO CAPTURE IMAGES OF THE WILD BROWN BEARS OF FINLAND FOR YOURSELF?

For 2018, NaturesLens have already announced a return to photograph the Wild Brown Bears of Finland – the trip has been scheduled to start on June 24 & ending on July 2, 2018.

The Wild Brown Bears of Finland Photography Holiday costs £1099 each participant; this price excludes air travel to Kajaani itself – all ground transportation from Kajaani & back, food, accommodation & guidance/tuition is included.

To hold a place on the trip, we only require a 20% deposit from you, with the balance due 12 weeks before the trip taking place.

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