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The Art of Wildlife Photography

Lesson 15 of 24

Conservation for Photography and The Story of 399 Part 2


The Art of Wildlife Photography

Lesson 15 of 24

Conservation for Photography and The Story of 399 Part 2


Lesson Info

Conservation for Photography and The Story of 399 Part 2

so just a few more words about this family that continue to fascinate me and millions of others problems probably the most famous bear that ever lived to be honest in the sense of how many people saw her in along the roads of teton park and um brought so much joy and education and you know um if you know a bear like mean people come from all the overseas three nine nine still around sixteen what's happening and tough life for them obviously of the uh ten cups she he birth I think there's only four left um have to kind of counted that it started getting confused between sixteen and all the kids and stuff but that's pretty much it this is seven sixty one of those um uh one of six tens three year old or four year olds at this time on dh she came out of the den last spring and she she had an ear tag so she had been trapped and tag fall before which really kind of pissed me off um sixteen then three nine and I've been trapped so many times and to do that you put up a culvert trap like a roa...

d colored and have a bigger and or and put it you know the interagency grizzly bear team it's a it's a team of the game and fish departments of idaho montana my oh me and the um two parks yellowstone teton park and and um the usgs um and so it's a cooperative thing to get the bears de listed as they say often dangerous species list there's still on endangers pieces of list they were taking off put back on another big push to get them back off and with u s fish and wildlife service who's another partner in the group federal government that's a federal animal protected by the federal government under the fish and wildlife service would like to take the bears off and turn him over to the state to manage if you remember what happened to the wolves when the wolves take enough in danger species list and given to the states they were basically slaughtered and the federal judge in washington d c a few months ago put the wolves back on the endangered species list because the state of wyoming did not do a very good job in managing so we're now in his big battle to keep the bears under nader species list for a variety of reasons mainly because we don't believe a lot of the research um we in the sense of other sign not a scientist the bear others bear scientists are there people who know a lot about bears say the white by white bark pine is the most valuable food source in the bear's ecosystem in the greater yellowstone it is disappeared pretty much from most of yellowstone park because of climate change because of the uh beetle kill beetles killed whitebark pine whitebark pine has been proven to be one of the principal foods forces into greater yellowstone for the bears especially in certain years um second species very important cutthroat trout cutthroat trout have been extra paid by the lake trout which had put into the lake as a trout for fishermen would basically have taken over the lake and eating the trout cutthroat trout and so they no longer got the room respond lake trout don't sponder respondent lake so now the cutthroat gone the third major source of food for bears is this the army cutworm moths which which go from the come from the prairies and end up in high mountains of wyoming and that is a very you think a moth wouldn't be that rich in valuable but there's millions of them and they're dependent on the flowers of course to feed on in the high mountains is whether there come out the prairies and wind up these high low elevations and what cut where martha moth er sites are still pretty well intact but if climate change is also going to the prediction is going to affect the flowers which will affect the moma so there's a lot of lot of reasons to be concerned and be worried about delisting pre delisting bears so this is seven sixty um one of um six tens four year olds came out with a tag uh last spring and then shortly in the summer in june she was re colored and since they were recalled it probably re tag but colored so she was trapped twice in this for five months again when they're trapped in a culvert trapping a big slam door sometimes sometimes bears get their backs broken because they don't get all the way into the trap sometimes kids get left outside it's happened at wolves have killed the cubs were left outside very dangerous operation there tranquilized and they're sometimes your tooth pulled their tattooed in the lip your tag put this horrible heavy collar around her neck and this study they say is too um study the hunter bear interaction they have a park hunt teton park and around the great yellowstone so for the study which we all know that grizzly bears we'd know patisserie most of the bears it die are from hunter bear conflict bears um start eating got piles of elk that air killed by hunters that elk balls are left behind in the lower limbs are left behind bears attracted that's like a dinner bell when hear a gunshot the bears run to the gun shop they run to the gun chuck imagine up and course sometimes airs on hunter hunkered over cleaning hiss getting his animal and oftentimes the bear gets shot sometimes a hundred gets hurt so seven sixty started following some well it's speculative but probably some of the early hunt got piles south where mother taught her where to go but mostly he followed the berry bushes south south of my house actually for this we'd ever seen a grizzly bear and ended up in place called the aspens which is um housing area eating various mostly in grass and spooked a guy with his dog and so the game of fish decided to trap seven sixty again and the trap him once before he was in a lizard creek campground eating grass campground it's inside the park and they moved him ten miles north and coming back into the park not into loser creek that I know of but he came back to where he knew well there was food and he would you know he couldn't really be in the aspens developed area that's not a good place for him but he could've been trapped and moved back into the park this is about a month ago ready go in hibernation instead they moved him to cody wyoming which had a lot of other bears a lot of other big bear's he's only three and a half years old now four years old so I became a big brouhaha why would you take this bear put him on mars basically not knowing where you know where to find food had to compete with other big bear's known big bear's other competition he was confused and started wondering in the little town of clark and he found the deer hanging from a tree a hundred but hyung pulled it down one hundred of car bear decided was his dear not the hundred spare not one hundred do anymore and so they decided that he didn't move he protected his deer and she went by walk by some cars that was too close to cars so the game of fish decided to capture him again snared him and believe and euthanizing so here is seven sixty model bear beautiful bear didn't do anything scary guy with his dog get some grass eh it's um barry's shift himto no man's land found a deer protected his dear that was his crime so fortunately that really bummed me out of course I wrote some letters letters something but about a week later I saw three ninety nine and her two remaining cubs whenever she lost one of the cubs last fall but this is on november first so I was inspired to continue the fight and I believe that might be the last picture of least I know if anybody's seen three ninety nine and her two cubs she's she was last year to be up in a place called black tail butte about a week ago eating got piles in and them out there got wounded and died like two beauteous kind of a mile from my house but here it is beautiful up pacific creek two beautiful cubs she has not been tied again or colored fortunately and um but this is the issue one of the issues way jump into this uh just some questions as we're going along this is really this has been not a fun topic but a very important one so thank you for thank you for talking about we had a lot of people maternity river and five other people agreed saying that really glad that thomas talking about threatened species and how we as photographers need to think beyond making money to be in stewards of wildlife otherwise we're just nature paparazzi I thought was a really interesting way to put it but a lot of the questions that come is how can we be effective as a conservationist photographers in doing this when you I have a story like this it's really compelling and it's powerful so when you go out do you have a story in mind that you are looking to tell do you have something or are you more just you're out observing and the story comes to you and you find it well in this case this is the story comes to you because you know is developing it's evolving and you you document what you see and then you see that these things and you learn these things that are happening like I just said that you um hopefully could make a difference with your photography and so you build the story where they'd be with video or film or or writing and you speak out I spoke out in the papers many times book out on tv programs of other things so um you have to question the authorities you know we should all question you know a lot of people think you know the game fish fish moralizers river might be then they do good things you know some of them something good I don't believe in trapping in a radio calling basically anything unless there's a good reason for also was redundant we all know that in this case should be trapping in the national park ok we shouldn't be hunting in a national park there's a hunt goes on every year it goes back in nineteen fifty which at the time there were no bears and the wolves they had been exterminated in yellowstone area in early nineteen hundreds they were thought to be you know predators that killed the good guys the elk the deer so obviously the park to change those ways and we've evolved somewhat so but there is enabling legislation congressional legislation in the park was expanded in nineteen fifty to allow some hunting when and if there were too many elk for the habitat they could be cold by experienced hunters now that all makes sense in nineteen fifty that all makes sense if there's two milk not enough grazing you got to get you gotta kill something rocky mountain park they do it a little differently they at night take out basically sharpshooters snipers find fifty elk shooting there are no bears grizzly bear their black grizzly bears and the wolves in in rec amount park and then they give the meat to needy families or people or have a lottery to give them to other people is very quick very clean and out of sight out of mind they have to be in that case because they don't have natural products and they're overrunning their habitat questioned whether elka number one are overrunning teton park capital because they never have a chance to eat the grass they're hunted in the park should there mostly on the run tonight daytime they're hiding the woods at night they're running to the refuge national refuge which was established for elk they started feed grounds started feeding hey and you know the talent of jackson used to be a refuge in a place where they were wintering now there's a town there so they started feeding the elk which creates more which creates you know so it's a it's a snowball effect but fifty the united videos they said let's ever but when needed that turn into deputizing the average hunter deputizing rangers this kid twelve years old is a deputized park ranger who can shoot elk with a high powered rifle schwab akers landing it's one of the most popular places in the park to bird watch to photograph you know and so you mixing these people over there with photographer and hunters and here's a sled she bear tracks blood trail that hundred drug drug is elk out on you see sled here killed is up there that's the same picture that kid in the uh father there you know month or so later they'd close this area finally two years ago because a bear got shot down there by hunter who surprised it wasn't three ninety nine obviously or any of her family you're before that a bear hundred got help l kind of got swatted by a barrack another similar situation with guy sneaking through the woods bears on a car because they got lost so finally they close while back our landing but they opened up another area to piece the hunters further south long ago lot river this is what looked like a swab because landing three years ago it was pretty much a massacre belk and this guy here with the chain so is cutting up the legs and you need to just chill the legs and lead the got piles it's kind of dangerous if you know bears around here's a barely got shot last two years ago thanksgiving time they drugged out of schwab backers then decided that they needed to cause it finally but it took a bear's death could have been a hundred death to do it this year two weeks ago I took this picture these hunters air lined up along the edge of the on the road I'm supposed to thirty feet off the road but there are no rangers around and nineteen fifty they were you know um you know maybe several hundred people coming into the park to see the elk or what it might be you know those thousands now you're getting high partner officer some very dangerous very dangerous for people very dangerous for bears very dangerous situation anyway that story continues you know there's a lot of issues with it and I'm not trying to bring people down or anything but these are the kinds of things that I feel compelled and responsibility to do as a photographer that I could make a difference hopefully a little bit of air and other lot of other people with me on this and then there's a lot of people who we've had personal threats lots of them from hunter's guy told me one of those guys there that were at the market there so if you leave your nominee shove my gun up your ass you know I'm in a national park so what kinds of things your kind of bothersome ranger games would you feel threatened you know well charges but it's not easy business to do this it's easy to take pretty pictures in africa but it's a bit of costs anyway you'd remember that so next more questions here if we can if the audience here has any questions at all again on the subject of conservation photography how you could be effective well that love to hear them we have one from rob art says as the nature and wildlife photographer do you find yourself getting emotionally involved with the animals who come across in your adventures something I know when we talk about journalistic photography is that the journalist needs to stay un emotionally involved in simply document so do you I agree with that for wildlife photography or do you find it valuable to get emotionally involved with the subjects I can't help myself but easy question and what they do is what they do and I think that's a good philosophy because if you're like a war photographer you would go crazy if you're documenting certain things you could you know handle it so that the best war photographer you know they separate that and that's important and it's important you know I have to take a break and hunting season goes until december seventh and I won't be back on december tenth and that's just fine with me one more from cp close on this is a legitimate issue when you're out in the wild and a lot of people have asked about thiss the questions safety comes up safety for both for the animals and for you from the animals you don't want to provoke something you don't want to have an accident of some kind so what do you take with you into the field to protect yourself against barrett tax or something that when you are concerned with making sure that you're not causing a problem talk about safety in the field personal I don't go into the town park yellowstone park looking for bears on foot if I'm in the field hiking in doing normal attire yourself I take bear spray with me much more effective than a gun you know um but I'm aware number one and if I do see a bear or something else or moose maybe it but give them their space I watch for for signs of there being bothered you know years back hair up you know walking towards you so you learn signals from the animals but most of all like an alaska there's places you can go toe salmon it you saw the salmon pictures they're happy eating salmon and you can have bears from here you guys and there don't bother you you know it doesn't mean that they won't ever because obviously there's been a few people killed who stepped over the line maybe your labor but mostly you give the animal respect and I don't go poking around it was in the park looking for bears and so that's what do you think like a lot of us I got really mad and upset but as an individual you know we kind of feel like aye we've got social media which is amazing for us to get things out there but we don't have an audience like you have so what would you recommend that can be done when we do see those things that get us upset get us angry we want to do something but we live six states away were you sure you shared on your whatever your social media you have and ask your friends to sheriff then you write the park superintendent teton park his name's villa um you write the fish and wildlife service director you write the director than tear department and tell him your feelings you know should you have twelve year olds with high powered rifles number one in a national park should you be attracting bears two got piles in two thousand fourteen nineteen fifty was sixty years since four years ago was a different era and don't let them tell you or who might be the distracters that we like hunters pay for these wildlife there's been a study done independence studied in that six point seven percent of all the funds that go for while a conservation or from hunter's hundred dollars the rest of it comes from normal public non consumptive users birdwatcher binocular buyers government taxes state taxes so we all have a right to these animals and by seeing them you losing the opportunity to see these all cassie you lose the opportunity to see the bears you were right to see the bears as a tourist a z u s citizen plenty places the hunt again I'm not anti hunting per se is ethically outside the park good one from something online and six other people agreed with it so I'm just starting to get into environmental and conservation photography can tongue khun tom talk about if they're guidelines or expectations for these type of photographers as faras donating parts of their profits a certain conservation groups or et cetera I will have some prints for sale here soon and it feels weird to make a profit off species that are struggling just I think that's a really good spirit to have what advice do you have for people as far as um yeah just the money side of things well I think people who donate I think it was john yesterday said he donates he's retired maybe you can afford it some more than a young person like you can always give some percentage um to a cause and there are a lot of causes you have to figure out which cause it might be but they're certainly a lot of great bear causes and a lot of his nature conservancy there's a jane goodall institute I had the cougar fund which I'll talk about right now let's do that thing you say is that a good save that was a beautiful thing

Class Description

Short on time? This class is available HERE as a Fast Class, exclusively for Creator Pass subscribers.

Learn wildlife and outdoor photography from one of the most prolific nature photographers of our time in The Art of Wildlife Photography with Tom Mangelsen.

Drawing lessons from his 40 years of observing and photographing the Earth's last great wild places, Tom will discuss the complex process behind his breathtaking wildlife photographs. You’ll learn:

  • What it takes to be a great wildlife photographer
  • How to capture wildlife in their natural environment
  • The best places to find animals
  • How to increase the visibility of your work
  • The importance of respecting wildlife and wildlife ethics

Tom will cover the basics of gear and scouting and teach you how to think about lighting when capturing animals in the wild. Tom will also offer a critique images and portfolios submitted by viewers.

If you have a passion for outdoor photography and want to capture the spirit of wildlife in your camera, join Tom Mangelsen for this inspiring and educational class.


a Creativelive Student

There is probably just one word that comes closest to describing Tom Mangelsen’s photography. Glorious. There are other good words too, of course. And they are also inadequate. Mangelsen’s panoramas are (cumulatively and separately (any one of them)) the best I’ve seen. Mangelsen teaches by example and his examples are exemplary. I’ve seen several photographers giving courses on CreativeLive lately many of whose photos I would love to have taken - but with Mangelsen I envy his possession not just of his photos but of their subjects too. And he does possess his subjects in ways many outstanding photographers fail to - possesses them and then leaves them to continue on with their lives. There are other reasons I’m grateful for this course too - his field trips and critiques have shown me (as with other CreativeLive courses) just how lazy I’m being with my work. And if his critiques aren’t motivation enough I only have to view his slide show ‘Last Great Wild Places’ for more inspiration. The photos in this series are revelations all on their own - even without commentary. Thank you CreativeLive for continuing to bring us the finest wildlife and nature photographers at work today - and thank you to photographers like Tom Mangelsen for giving us a look at the way they work.


I could not stop watching this class and set aside time each day until I finished it. I guess you could saw that I binge watched it. Then I was really sad when it was finished! Like a good movie that stays with you and that you don't want to end! This is a wonderful class and the best I have taken at CreativeLive. I learned so much and have a great fondness for Tom Mangelsen. He really knows how to pull you into his passion. I am so grateful to have taken this course and grateful to Tom for all that he has done in his career to further his craft and to share it. I am inspired! If you are going to purchase and course from CreativeLive, this is one to be sure to take!!! Thank you again.

Dub Maitland

Excellent class! An incredibly talented photographer who has a vast knowledge of the subject matter as well as an outstanding ability to deliver the information. It was as enjoyable as it was informative. I first saw Tom's work in an office in Denver in 1991 and have been inspired by him ever since. Thank you Creative Live, for giving us the opportunity to spend this time with the Master! And thank you Tom for your willingness to share your talent with us! Dub Maitland, Missoula, MT.