Cowichan Valley photographer takes third spot

It’s the kind of photo that makes you want to turn and run the other way — if you weren’t so captivated by what you’re looking at.

It’s the kind of photo that makes you want to turn and run the other way — if you weren’t so captivated by what you’re looking at.

Perhaps that’s why Cobble Hill-based photographer Melanie Leeson earned third place in the BC SPCA’s 2015 Wildlife-in-Focus Photography Contest in the Wild Settings Category for her photo of a running bear that looks like it’s about to leap out of the photo and onto your lap.

Leeson took the photo last year up by Port Hardy, but can remember the circumstances like it was just yesterday.

“We were having a moment,” she said with a chuckle. “What happened is the bear was in a fight with another bear over a fishing hole. It was a male and when he broke out of the fight, he ran straight at us.”

Leeson said at that point she really only had two choices.

“I said ‘you know what, I can either keep clicking away or I can run and running’s not going to help’ so I might as well keep clicking away.”

That’s how she got her award-winning shot.

“We were in a tidal area and had the tripods set up on slippery rocks so it wasn’t one of those run situations,” she admitted.

The bear did end up making a hard right-hand turn at the last second, just before he got to the photographers, so it all worked out in the end.

Leeson said while slightly terrifying, she never felt she was in significant danger.

“They’ve got fish to eat and they’re happy,” she explained. “They’re just willing to tolerate us in their space for a little while.”

More than 600 entries were submitted to the SPCA’s annual summertime nature photography contest, raising $4,085 for wild animals in need in B.C.

 

Leeson and Crofton’s Shannon Reiner, who earned an honourable mention in the Backyard Habitats category with her photo of a Cooper’s Hawk, were the only Cowichan residents to place, though in a testament to the region’s natural wonder, five of the six top finishers and seven of the 16 finalists overall (including honourable mentions) were from Vancouver Island.

“We live in one of the most beautiful places on earth and are surrounded by such a diversity of wild animals throughout the province,” said Dr. Sara Dubois, BC SPCA chief scientific officer. “The photos of our local wildlife captured by such a wide range of photographers are absolutely stunning.”

Visit spca.bc.ca/wildlife-in-focus to see all of the finalists’ submissions.

Just Posted

Sculpture relocation plan works perfectly in Chemainus

Heavy lifting required to place Cline’s work into Heritage Square

Tour to demonstrate mobile-seed cleaner to visit

Event scheduled for Aug. 23 at the Cowichan Agricultural Seed Hub

Police seek tips in 2015 death of Brown

Four years has passed since the body of Penelakut Island teen was discovered

Lack of consultation on Chemainus Road corridor project irks business owners, residents

Surprise expressed over change to anticipated North Cowichan plans

‘Nearly Neil’ show is coming to Lake Cowichan Legion Aug. 24

Get the gang together and come out for a great night of Neil Diamond songs

Disney Plus to launch in Canada in November

Analysts say latest streaming service may escalate cord cutting

Okanagan bus driver assaulted for asking patron not to smoke

59-year-old in hospital with non-life threatening injuries

B.C. sets rules for ride hailing, same minimum fee as taxis

Larger operating areas seen as threat by cab companies

Two hiking families team up to extinguish fire in B.C. backcountry

Children and their parents worked for three hours to ensure safety of the popular hiking region

Vancouver man arrested after pregnant woman’s SUV stolen, then crashed

Police are recommending charges against a 22-year-old Vancouver man

Elections Canada to assess ‘partisan’ climate change rhetoric case by case

People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier has said climate change is not an emergency nor caused by human

Unseasonable snow forces campers out of northeastern B.C. provincial park

Storm brought as much as 35 centimetres of snow to the Fort Nelson, Muncho Lake Park-Stone Mountain Park

B.C. log export rules killing us, northwest harvester says

NorthPac Forestry says Skeena Sawmills has plenty of timber

Most Read