This photo workshop begins in Fairbanks, Alaska, where, weather permitting, we head out to view and photograph the aurora borealis on our first night. The next morning, we drive up the Dalton Highway to the remote community of Wiseman, nestled in the heart of the Brooks Range above the Arctic Circle. Over four nights and four days, we will explore this region of Alaska’s northernmost mountain range chasing the light during the day and the dancing lights at night. Cost includes lodging and meals in Fairbanks, Alaska, the first night, all meals and lodging in Wiseman, transportation to and from Wiseman, and photo instruction.
Early spring on the arctic shorelines and forests of Norway and Finland is an incredible time for bird photography! King and Steller’s eiders are almost ready to return to their breeding grounds in Russia. Black-legged Kittiwakes and Atlantic Puffins are coming home to their cliffs after a long winter at sea. Pine Grosbeaks, Siberian Jays and Arctic Redpolls flit through the Taiga. This is a magical time of year, as winter recedes and birdlife takes over. The longer days provide ample light, there are still plenty of winter birds, spring courtship activities have started and there are still good chances for spectacular Aurora borealis displays.
King, Steller’s and Common eiders, Razorbills, Atlantic Puffins, Common and Thick-billed Murres, Shags, Black-legged Kittiwakes, songbirds of the Taiga, northern owls, Aurora borealis, Golden & White-tailed Eagles, cryptic Willow & Rock Ptarmigan, the flamboyant displays of lekking Black Grouse and even the possibility of gyrfalcon or wolverine, all in a beautiful wintry landscape.
14 nights lodging
13 days of photography
All meals during the tour
All ground transportation
Professional tips and guidance in the field
All boat trips
Baited (roadkill) Golden Eagle blind
Black Grouse lek blind
Story and photography by Jim Clark ©
Part II-Techniques for photographing the ice bears of Churchill
Photographing polar bears, I discovered, is not much different from photographing any other wildlife species. You still have to prepare. You still have to understand exposure and how to use different lighting angles. You still must consider the guidelines of composition. You still have to remain patient. And, you still have to know when to act fast to capture that defining moment.
You might have to pinch yourself to realize you are really seeing these majestic creatures in real time. You are photographing the largest land predator in the world located in an isolated arctic environment in the early throes of winter, which can at times be overwhelmingly windy and bitterly cold with lots of snow. So, okay, there are a few differences.
Story and photography by Jim Clark
My first experience with the apex predator of the far north: Part I—Planning the Trip
Somewhere I read that once you gaze into the eyes of a polar bear, it will change your life. Just a couple weeks ago, I did indeed gaze into the eyes of the foremost apex predator of the far north. In fact, for a week I looked into the eyes of several polar bears during my first-ever trip to Churchill, Manitoba. The experience is something that neither I nor my wife Jamie and son Carson will ever forget. Continue reading