In The Wild With Team Husar; A Cause Served With Great Images Page 2

The Husars agree that their best bet is to pick a place and hope the animal will come to them. "If they're wandering around and feeding on grass we try to blend in with the surroundings so the animal will feel comfortable," Lisa explains. "We don't pick up our tripod and walk directly toward them. Animals need their space and comfort level and we must not impact their movement."

Bald Eagle
Soaring bald eagle. (Kenai Peninsula, Alaska.)

Among Lisa's favorites are the harp seals. "Our first expedition was to Quebec when I first started photographing professionally," she says. "Mike gave me the trip for Christmas and it was very special. We have been back three times and are going again to get new photos and be with the seals.

"We go in by helicopter to Magdalen Islands and look for the seals. You're out there with ice, water, and sky and it is beautiful. We find a group of a few hundred seals and land on the ice, always watching the holes when the mother seals come up to check on their babies. The mother sniffs the babies and it's like--okay, that's my pup. They know which of the breathing holes where their own pup is. Somebody was thinking when all this was designed," Lisa says.

Currently the little harp seals are in the news again because of the hunting controversy in Canada. "It breaks my heart to hear about the hundreds of thousands of these little fellows that are being hunted each year," she says. "Hopefully our photographs will make people more aware and make some changes.

Harp Seals
Harp seal sniffing her pup in recognition. (Gulf of St. Lawrence, Canada.)

"We know how animals respond. They do feel emotion and spending time with them you come to appreciate what they have to do to survive. Hopefully my viewers will feel what we feel through my photographs and realize the benefits these creatures give us. It is a sad world to see these animals become extinct and we hope our images will move people to take some action against global warming. It's the message we are trying to get out."

A little over a year ago the Husars went digital with a Canon EOS-1D Mark II. Most of their photographs are shot with long lenses. "We photograph polar bears and cubs with 1000mm plus lenses, either a 500mm with a 2x converter or a 600mm with a 1.4x converter," Mike says. "When we photograph an animal like a wolf or a big cat in captivity in a wildlife model setting we can shoot with a 70-200mm, depending upon where the animal is and what we want to get.

Grizzly Bear
Alaskan brown bear fishing for salmon. (Katmai National Park, Alaska.)

"For our Alaskan trip to photograph the grizzly bears we will be using a 500mm plus and by the end when the bears are comfortable with our presence we'll use a 70mm lens. We always try to read their body language and what they are trying to tell us as we come in closer.

"We do use a flash when photographing pandas because of their dark eyes and black coat. We rarely use flash outdoors--if it looks like we need a flash, it is too dark and we don't shoot.

"It all depends on what we want the viewer to see," Mike adds. "If we want to stop action we shoot at a faster shutter speed like 500-1000 but for a lot of depth of field and no fast-moving animals we photograph slower with the aperture at f/11 or f/8. The key to wildlife photography is that the eyes have to be tack-sharp. If they're not, the picture's not worth anything."

Team Husar
Mike, Lisa and Bear.

"Wildlife shooting is all about trial and error and a photographer needs to know what has to be portrayed in the image and understand his subject. There's always an element of surprise involved with animals.

"There's no such thing as a normal day," Mike says.

To see more wildlife photos from Team Husar, visit their website at: www.TeamHusar.com.

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