28 Jul 14. I used to enter into competitions for the fun of competing, but after several years of listening to folks who just couldn't resist making fools of themselves, I gave it up. My favorite two versions of such are the going on and on over the virtues of an obviously bad image when the commentator should have given the image some good solid helpful constructive criticism, and my all time favorite where the commentator, who has absolutely no knowledge of where the image was taken, or the conditions thereof, to tell the photographer how much better the image would be if it had been taken from a different angle, location, etc. This degree of arrogance, much like that held by members of certain photo organizations, is just too much. So I no longer participate in such ventures of frustration. There is of course lots of room for good solid helpful criticism of any image, and I truthfully appreciate any and all I receive from folks on these mailing lists, even though, sadly, there are but a few who offer their sage advice. The image for today is one of those in which a commentator would likely feel obliged to tell me how much better it would have been had I just moved a few feet to eliminate the branch that is covering a portion of the face of the middle cub, or that I could have edited the branch out of the photo. And while the latter is true but I elected not to, the former is not. Moving in either direction would have required me to walk over another photographer standing within inches of me and had I even elected to so do, my position, in relation to the cubs, would have been worse. Of course that possibility would never occur to those who feel like they know more about the location than did/does the photographer. These little guys were playing both hide and seek with the photographers as well as rough and tumble with each other. They put on a real show for perhaps 20 minutes, something the l o n g line of photographers had been waiting for quite a while to observe. We got to see these little guys about 90 minutes after watching the other adult with its kill. Only this time the group of photographers numbered perhaps 4x as many and the cost of the gear must have been approaching a quarter million dollars. I used the longest lens I had, but it isn't as sharp as I would desire, so what I'm sharing isn't razor sharp to begin with, and I've cut out perhaps 20% of the original to share. Normally I wouldn't offer something this soft, but seeing these three little guys was such a treat that I thought you might appreciate it anyway. This last trip we saw more bears than in all of our trips combined; of course our daughter made one trip there a couple of weeks ago and saw the same thing, a set of black bear triplets. This shot was taken with a 400mm lens on a camera body that effectively magnifies the lens by 50%, so it is what one would get with a 600mm lens on a film camera. Remember, this is a 20% section of the full frame, so it may give you an idea as to why serious nature photographers spend $25k or so per lens for the big glass, and also as to why I remain a hobbyist. Zoom in to 100% to appreciate the cubs. Nikon D300s; 80 - 400; Aperture Priority; ISO 200; 1/400 sec @ f /6.3.