My wife and I were fortunate to have been able to be guided along the shoreline of Alaska in Katmai National Park, riding in a small Zodiac rubber inflatable boat, looking for wildlife in the summer of 2007. Were we lucky or what? We came upon this big guy as we slowly and silently drifted by where he was searching the inter-tidal zone for food. We were a fair distance away, so I had to use my 300mm lens to capture this image. But, what you see here was cropped afterwards, because it was on this trip that I forgot something I’d learned before. That was to crop “in camera” and not afterwards. What happened to me as we drifted by the bear, was that I was so excited to be seeing my first Kodiak, that I fired off shot after shot, always with the bear right smack in the middle of the camera frame. Thus, I wound up with something I did not like later on. Lesson I learned then, and have remembered ever since, is to crop in camera, and give the main subject some “breathing room” in the frame, NEVER placing the central focus dead center. The “rule of thirds”, well “RULES”.

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