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I'm a Cairns, far north Queensland, Australia professional photographer specialising in travel, editorial and environmental portraiture.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

A sign of the times

When you're travelling don't forget to photograph the signs. You find all sorts of signs when you're out and about - everything from warnings to street and place names, to funny little things. If you're travelling through the outback of Australia you're likely to find bullet holes in signs. Hell I even found a cut-out kangaroo on a road sign at the entrance to the Caprivi strip just outside of Angola!

This sign here is one that you might not be able to read but it kind of gives you a hint at what it might be on about with the pictures of the yellow bears and a bright pink exclamation mark.

The top writing says breeding ground of grizzly bears. Underneath the bears it reads: the following are strictly prohibited - feeding or getting close to the bears. You don't need a sign to convince me of that!

This is one of the world's most recently World Heritage Listed areas in Shiretoko National Park, in far eastern Hokkaido. It is filled with bears and the Shiretoko Five Lakes is notorious for spottings. Needless to say I was a bit nervous as I walked around the Five Lakes with my wife and baby son. In Japan they recommend you place a bell on your backpack to let the bears know you're coming and give them time to get out of the way. I did the next best thing and took a non-stop chattering father-in-law! Seemed to work a treat.

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