Cinnamon Black Bear – Cinnamon Colored Black Bear Near Indian Creek Campground, Yellowstone National Park.
I am frequently asked just how close I was to this bear to get this image.
Yellowstone National Park policy requires visitors to get no closer than 100 yards from bears and wolves. Additionally, there is a federal government requirement in the Code of Federal Regulations stating that you cannot disturb any wildlife in such a way as to cause them to discontinue the natural activity they may be involved in such as browsing.
When I started photographing this bear she was well outside the 100-yard range. I was using a telephoto lens with a maximum length of 400 mm with a 1.4 teleconverter attached, effectively making the lens 560 mm long. My camera does not have a full-size sensor so the effective focal length goes to 840 mm. With such a length you don’t have to be too close to get a closeup image. I was certainly not disturbing her as she wandered through this wooded grassy area eating the blossoms off dandelions. By the time I made this photo I had retreated to the safety of my vehicle as she was approaching within 100 yards and I didn’t want to be in violation of either of the rules. I estimate that the bear was about 50 yards away, but I was inside my vehicle and paying very close attention to her activities so that I could remain safe.
This image appeared in the 2017 Yellowstone Association Wall Calendar.