Tom Hooker

Currently.........Back home in sunny UK!

Great Bear Stakeout

Alaska. June - September 2012

The Grizzly Bears of Alaska proved to be intelligent and fascinating subjects. Coupled with the dramatic and everchanging scenery, this shoot became a very memorable trip for everyone involved. My role as ‘Remote Camera Operator’ alongside Nick Turner took me to several bays along the Alaska peninsular where our brief was to capture exciting and fresh perspectives of the bears. The most interesting views during the salmon run in September were those underwater. Some bears swam through the salmon, dispersing them to shallower regions whereas others would plunge on top and attempt to pin the fish down. Witnessing this behaviour through the lens of a remote underwater camera was exciting and hugely rewarding. It did mean getting in the water myself though!

Underwater

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It was a privilige to work alongside such a great team of guides who had a passion for the animals and the place that began to feel like home. I worked alongside Brad Josephs for the majority of the trip who has spent many years observing bears and his experience was invaluable. Read his filming blog here. Together we spent many hours covering vast areas of tidal flats, sedge meadow and forest attempting to capture interesting footage. One of my most memorable moments was filming a sow and cub digging clams early one sunny morning on the beach. There was nothing else between us and the horizon until the arrival of a pod of Orcas. A unique moment that I will never forget.

Whilst travelling by sea plane and boat we also became acquainted with many other animals including Sea Otters, Bald Eagles, Porcupines, Wolves, Puffins and on the way home, a group of Dall’s Porpoises who joined us for some bow waving. Click here to watch.