I was out of photography for twelve years from 2000 – 2012, following a period of burnout at the end of the 1990s. I only began shooting again in 2012 to take adoption photos for a dog rescue. I didn't intend at that time to go all the way back in again. That changed with a trip to Yellowstone in June of 2013. I had some of my best grizzly encounters during that trip. All my old camera equipment was from the age of film/slides so I took the dog rescue's camera and rented a lens (if only I had my current equipment then).
One morning before daybreak this grizzly was sitting on a bluff on the far side of a bend in the Yellowstone River. Just after the sun rose, he went down to the river and swam across. Halfway across, it became obvious the current was going to place him right where I was standing on the near bank. Obviously, I got back to my car before this happened.
As he walked toward the parking lot where I and two other cars were stopped, he changed trajectory and came up between our cars. As I looked out my window to see where he had gone, he suddenly stuck his head out from behind my car and looked right at me with a sheepish smile and goofy expression on his face. After he looked both ways a few times and bobbed his head some, he broke into a happy trot across the parking lot and up the embankment on the other side of the road. I find it amazing how much bears often act like dogs. If you've ever seen a nervous dog decide to do something it wasn't sure about, that's exactly how this was.
With my cheap, rented equipment, this is the only shot that really came out okay from his swim, but now I was drawn back in. When I got back home I took all my old slides and threw them away and decided I was starting fresh from that moment. So, this is the starting point for everything I'm doing now.