The bear was focused on its meal - fish - so photographer Ron Wilson crept closer and took shots "from every angle" as part of a five-day trip to Alaska. He ended up taking 2,500 photographs of wildlife and the countryside.
Most of his animal photos are taken without the use of a long lens, Wilson said earlier this month as he and town employees hung 30 pieces of his work in the Prescott Valley Public Library. He doesn't edit much either, just removal of a piece of dust here and there, he said.
With 50,000 photos in his archives, Wilson, who will be 75 next month, said he doesn't take photos of people.
"Land and animals don't talk back. And there's no problem getting a release," he quipped.
He and his wife, Sonja, have lived in Prescott Valley for more than two years, having come from Connecticut and its harsh winters.
"My wife said, 'That's enough of that,'" Wilson said.
Sonja's favorite photograph is called "3 Bandits" - three young raccoons peering out of a hole in a tree trunk. It's harder for Ron Wilson to pick a favorite, but he professed to be partial to the Teton Mountains in Wyoming.
"When you come out of Jackson, it just hits you. It's unbelievable," he said of the view of craggy mountaintops, water and the immense sky. "Teton Splendor," with wildflowers in the foreground, for instance, took a lot of time to compose, he said.
Other Western states are also favorites to visit for ranch photos (Montana) and landscapes and elk (Colorado). When he took the photo of the Maroon Bells near Aspen, "the water was like glass and the trees were in full color."
"But you can't beat the color back there in New Hampshire," he said, standing in front of a fall scene with a dirt pathway winding into the trees. "I pulled over to eat lunch and there was a road leading into the trees."
The Town of Prescott Valley, through the Arts and Culture Commission, recently instituted its Public Art Exhibition Program. Professional or amateur artists can apply to exhibit their works on the first and second floors of the library for 30-60 days.
Wilson's photographs are limited editions and all come with certificate of authenticity. The frames are museum quality and good for 70 years before beginning to lose any color. About a third of his work is giclee print on canvas; the majority uses a state-of-the-art LightJet print process. All have a protective coating that stops damage from ultraviolet light and can be cleaned with a damp cloth.
Wilson's work is for sale. In accordance with the Public Art Exhibition Program, the town receives 20 percent of sale proceeds.
For more information about Ron's work, call him at 303-819-6500 or email at email@example.com.