Not Worth It

A snoozing Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus) evaluates an Arctic Fox (Vulpes lagopus) as it saunters past to determine if the energy lost in chasing it down is worth the limited energy gain if he catches and eats it. The insouciant fox already knows the bear will not make an attempt to catch it. He can outrun the bear.

EF 70-200mm @ 180mm; f/16 @ 1/180 sec, -1 EV, ISO 100


I love the way the bear is eyeing the fox. I saw similar behavior between lions and warthogs in Africa. The first time I saw it I was very surprised. I hadn’t thought that lions were that slow (or is it that warthogs are really fast?)

Marc—thank you for your comments. African lions are fast enough (top speed 50mph) to catch warthogs (top speed 35mph). However, the warthogs are formidable. Warthogs are known to “face predators head-on.” Single lions will seldom attack a warthog that is facing it. A pride of lions will attack a warthog, especially piglets.

@Bob_Faucher What a fortunate moment to catch. And of course a really nice rendition of the whites, or so it seems to me.

Ms, Gerst—Thank you for your kind remarks. Snow, because it is so highly reflective, is not always the easiest environment to register in color faithfully. I find that by sampling an area that you think should be neutral, in light-moderate shadow, one can use the eye-dropper/White Balance tool in Lightroom or Bridge. The selected area, to be neutral gray, R-G-B channels need to be all the same value. If not, change one or more.

@Bob_Faucher - Thanks for the tips on processing snow. I hope to do more photography in it at some point and this looks very helpful.

You can thank Charles Cramer and Bill Atkinson. They formerly taught the Photoshop and Digital Printing Workshop. I was fortunate to attend the last they provided together.

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Wonderful frame with two points of interest and cool behavior shot !

Jagdeep: Thank you for your kind remarks. I spent three weeks in October working out of Churchill and was able to witness and capture a great deal of behavioral activities. The bears are not too active at this time because they are “walking hibernators.” Most of the activity is non-lethal fighting to determine the hierarchy of the celebration.