This is the most startling image I’ve ever made of a brown bear. As with nearly every bear we encountered in Alaska, it was grazing on lush grasses that bordered a beach not far from our fly-in fishing camp. Pictures of feeding bears with their heads down and often with their backs turned are usually not very expressive. The best advice that I can offer those making photographs of bears is to have the patience to be willing to wait for the bear to do something other than eat. We floated down to this bear and anchored just off shore. I watched it graze for more than fifteen minutes. Suddenly it stopped, turned towards me, and reared up on its hind legs. I was looking at 1,500 pounds of bear, standing nearly nine feet tall. Our guide told me that bears would sometimes do this to identify a threat. Its claws are held in readiness at its waist – it most likely thinks that we might be threatening its food, and is ready and waiting to defend it. It held this position for about a minute. This is the image that best expressed the moment.