13 days of photographing 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.
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.
My first experience with the apex predator of the far north: Part I—Planning the Trip
Polar bear in the Canadian Arctic, near Churchill, Manitoba. (c) Jim Clark
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 →