A chance to see wild bears in action

Wild bear

It’s not every day you get the chance to see wild bears in action – caught on camera as they catch wild salmon in their mouths at Brooks Falls in the Gulf of Alaska.

But that’s what Kevin Dennes enabled a packed room of residents at the Beauty Point Retirement Resort to do recently when he showed them a series of amazing photos he’d taken when he was at Brooks Falls in 2007.

Kevin has been a professional photographer since he was 18 and during that time, the bulk of his work was in the medical and scientific field of photography. But his own personal interest was always in taking photos of wildlife. As he said: “My own particular interest was taking photos in Africa and in the Antarctic and the Arctic – and of course the bears in Alaska.”

You may recognise these photos
At his presentation, Kevin told the audience they’d probably recognise these photos because they’re all shot in the same place that John West© used to shoot those salmon ads for so many years.

“This is the best place in the world you can get up close enough to actually get a good photo of the salmon jumping through the air. They’re trying to get over the falls as they swim upstream to the very place where they spawn, and of course, the bears will always be there waiting for them at the top of the falls.”

Kevin says getting a photo of the bear just as they grab the salmon in their jaws is a matter of timing as the photo has to be taken at the right “split second,” – usually at about ½,000th of a second!

After 2800 photos – the perfect one!
“You have to take the chance and take photos as fast as you can. I took about 2800 photographs to get the one photograph I was after,” he adds, showing us an amazing photo of a bear catching a salmon in its mouth, perfectly at the right moment.

When asked where the market is for this type of photograph. Kevin says an American wholesale travel bureau, selling travel in Alaska. He added: “It was used for several brochure covers and therefore it had to be of high quality.”

Getting to the right vantage point
Many of the places Kevin has taken photos in have not been easy to get to and Brooks Falls in the Gulf of Alaska is no exception. As he said: “You have to fly from Lake Hood in Anchorage by sea plane and then you have to fly for about four hours and land on the Brook’s Lake. Then you walk through the bush, along the Brook’s River for about two kilometres to the Brooks Falls.”

“The bush land is all bear country and one has to be very much on alert at all times.  As an aside, there are more seaplanes at Lake Hood than in the whole of the South Pacific! And there are more licensed aircraft pilots, per head of population living in Anchorage than any other city in the world!”

Once Kevin reached the right vantage point at Brooks Falls in the Katmai National Park, he had to work fast because he knew his time would be limited: “We flew from Lake Hood very early. We knew we had to fly back by seaplane and the seaplanes have to land before dark at approximately 9pm – so we knew we only had so much time at the falls,” he said.

“I was there at the peak of the salmon run. This is the only place you can get a shot like this. The bears are gorging themselves so they can build up their fat stores for hibernation. They eat the heads, the roe and the skin of the salmon – but they don’t eat the flesh,” he explained. “That is left for the seagulls!”

Fourth time lucky for Beauty Point residents
This is the fourth time Kevin has shown some of his amazing photos at Beauty Point Retirement Resort. Previously he treated residents to a series of photos he’d taken on a tour of East Africa and later he showed some of his best photos from a tour of the Antarctic and at another, of the Arctic.

“I’ve done a tremendous amount of travel – most of it paid by someone else,” he said. “I’ve travelled on the seven continents and it’s been a wonderful experience for me.”

At one time, Kevin worked for the Etosha Lion Research  Centre in Namibia. This was a National Geographic research project. So most of the photography he did for them was used for research material to be used in scientific papers etc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No need to leave the resort to have those important eye tests

Everyone needs to have their eyes tested on a regular basis but now it’s so easy because you can have all your important eye tests done right here at Beauty Point Retirement Resort.

There are now two optometrists who visit the resort by appointment, giving you their expert and personalised attention. They are Nada Chami and Georgia Papadopoulos and they’ll make sure all of your optometric needs are met.

These are the Top 3 Tests you can have as part of Beauty Point Optometric Services

1)    Vision tests for glasses – long distance and short distance
2)    Eye pressure tests for Glaucoma
3)    Retinal checks for the back of the eyes

Both Nada and Georgia graduated with honours in Optometry at the University of NSW in 1993. They have over 20 years of experience each and this allows them to understand each person’s individual requirements and how to help them accordingly.

Nada and Georgia have often worked together during their careers so they work well as a team. They visit the Beauty Point Retirement Resort by appointment (approximately each fortnight) and they can also do home visits if requested.

Don’t leave it too late
Both Nada and Georgia emphasis it’s important for everyone to have a yearly eye examination as early detection and treatment of eye disease can help reduce any loss to your vision.

When you see them, Nada and Georgia will check your eye pressure and the back of your eye to detect any early signs of:
•    Glaucoma
•    Macular degeneration
•    Diabetes
•    Cataracts
•    Dry eye problems

If they feel you need further treatment, they may refer you to an ophthalmologist. Eye examinations are bulk billed by Medicare so there’ll be no cost for your appointments with Nada and Georgia.

If you’d like to order glasses, they can offer you a wide choice of frames and lenses from the cheapest to the most expensive. These are all able to be claimed on your health fund if you have one and this refund can be claimed immediately so there’s no delay.

Happy to help with your questions
Nada and Georgia are happy to answer any of your questions regarding your vision. They feel no question regarding your vision should ever be dismissed.

“We like to allocate a fair bit of time for each patient,” says Nada. “It’s important we understand exactly what they need and we do our full range of tests so they get the right glasses for their daily needs,” she adds.

Nada and Georgia have found working as a team at the resort is going well: “We’re now quite mobile. We have everything we need at our fingertips and it’s working very well,” adds Georgia.

To make an appointment with Nada and Georgia, call Shani or Mary at the front desk of the Beauty Point Retirement Resort on (02) 8708 4700 and they’ll find a time for you.