New Platinum/Palladium Print - Black Bear Cub, Limited Edition of 10
I am excited to release a brand new limited edition of 10, platinum/palladium print of a black bear cub that I photographed in the Great Smoky Mountains in the summer of 2017.
Printed on Hahnemühle Platinum Rag 11" x 15" media, 8" x 10" Image.
If you are not familiar with Platinum & Palladium fine art prints, you may want to read my essay describing this historic form of fine art. You can view a variety of resources on my Platinum Printmaking page if you want to know more about my creative process.
If you are a photographer and want to learn how to create Platinum & Palladium Fine Art prints, you can purchase my Modern Platinum & Palladium Printmaking With Digital Negatives - Quick Start Guide.
STORY BEHIND THE PRINT
I regularly explore the mountain country in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennennesse and North Carolina. In late summer, I made a trip to the mountains to focus on watching black bears.
Of all the wildlife that I love to watch and photograph, bears are at the top of my list. The adrenalin rush when I first spot the bears is really amazing. I feel like I am in a time warp and I forget about everything else. I become part of the scene and time is frozen.
I had been tracking a family of black bears, a sow, and her three cubs for over a week. This effectively means that I get up before sunrise and get into a position where I hope the bears might be looking for food and spend the next several hours hiking and exploring. Around noon, I take a break and eat some lunch and try and rest for an hour or so. Then I start back up again about 2 hours before sunset and run through to the last light of the day. It can be physically and mentally exhausting at times, but it is what I love to do.
I was fortunate enough on the last day of my trip to find the sow (mother) and her three cubs in an open forest area. I slowly made my way closer to them in hopes of being able to photograph them in their natural environment without disturbing them. I got myself into a good position, and the bears, unfortunately, discovered me as well. Two of the cubs climbed a tree, and the other one stayed close to its mom.
My heart started pounding because I have wanted to photograph a bear cub in a tree for years, but I never had the opportunity until now. I was excited, nervous, and happy, all at the same time. I was amazed at the keen sense of the young cubs. You can see the emotion in the little cub's eyes that I photographed. He/she was watching every single move that I made.
I lost myself in the scene watching this young black bear cub and forgot about keeping an eye out for the mother. I was twice the recommended distance from the bears as directed by the national park. As I was focused on the cub, I heard what sounded like heavy footsteps and branches or twigs breaking in the forest. I took my eyes off the cub to find the sow (mother bear) walking towards me. At that moment, I thought I was in real trouble and was probably in danger. I didn't plan on getting that close to the bears for their safety as well as mine because I value and protect their safety and wellbeing, just as I do people and the environment. I never want to harm or have my presence negatively effect wildlife in any way.
The sow stood up on her hind legs and made a hissing sound, clearly directed towards me that I will never forget. She was telling me to get away from her cubs or she was going to take care of this situation. I slowly stood up, looked at her and slowly moved backward out of the area towards safety. You never want to look scared or run from a bear because they will think you are prey.
I will never forget this experience, and I hope you enjoy this special limited edition fine art platinum/palladium handmade print.
Later this same morning, I went up the summit near Clingman's Dome and photographed this Tiger Lily and made a platinum/palladium fine print of this ethereal wildflower.
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Keywords: black bear, fine art, fine art print, great smoky mountains national park, platinum, platinum print
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