This is a July 1997 photograph of a polar bear from within the polar bear compound at Zoo Praha in Prague (Praha), Czech Republic. This image is from a series, "Behind the Scenes at Zoo Praha," I completed while studying documentary photography at the School for Photographic Studies in Prague during the Summer of 1997. It is important to note I was inside the polar bear compound, vis-a-vis the zoo visitors looking into the compound from the outside, but I was not in the same enclosure as the polar bear in this photograph. Polar bears can be very aggressive and dangerous so I was in a position within the compound to which the polar bear could not gain access. However, such did not prevent me from attracting the bear's attention. Just prior to this photo, the bear had been playing with the stick in his mouth but he stopped to glare at me as I continuously tripped the shutter of my camera. Despite the presence of an impassable barrier between the bear and me, it was impossible not to feel totally vulnerable while capturing this image. As is only partially visible in this photo, zoo visitors were as much interested in my presence within the enclosure as they were with the polar bear.
This photograph was created from a Kodak Tri-X negative scanned with a Nikon Super Coolscan 8000 ED and processed via Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop before being printed as a giclee on archival 100% cotton rag fine art paper.