WPY 2017

Photograph Details

Finalist 2017

11–14 Years Old

Ashleigh Scully, USA

Bear hug

Ashleigh went to Alaska intent on photographing brown bears as families. This was the moment she had been waiting for, a mother leading two cubs across the beach. One of them wanted to stay and play. ‘I fell in love with brown bears on this trip,’ says Ashleigh. ‘They are so similar to humans.’

Brown bears are usually solitary, but there is a strong bond between mother and cubs. The young bears stay with their mother for two to three years, learning what to eat, and how to look after themselves. Large numbers of bears follow the plentiful food supplies available here in summer, feasting like this family, on clams, salmon and berries.

Technical specification

Canon EOS 5D; 500mm f4 Mark II lens; 1/1250 sec at f8 (+1 e/v); ISO 1250; Gitzo tripod.


Lake Clark National Park and Preserve, Alaska, USA: latitude 60.412846, longitude -154.32521 Lake Clark National Park and Preserve, Alaska, USA: latitude 60.412846, longitude -154.32521

Lake Clark National Park and Preserve, Alaska, USA

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Ashleigh Scully

Ashleigh Scully, USA

Ashleigh has been photographing wildlife since she was eight years old. She particularly likes to photograph predators, including red foxes, coyotes, bears and large wild cats such as mountain lions, lions and cheetahs. Her wildlife photography focus has been on images that tell a story and give the viewer a sense of an animal's unique behaviour and family unit dynamics.

  • Mama’s back
  • Stuck in