The North Remembers
|The North Remembers|
Svalbard, Norway, 2019
Polar bears are the most solitary of animals. They can cover miles and miles of frozen sea ice on a daily basis without interacting with anyone or anything.
There are four mainstream places in the world where photographers tend to travel to encounter polar bears and each has their own challenges. Churchill in Manitoba has a thriving tourist trade in the autumn where visitors can jump aboard six-foot-high tundra buggies and charge around in the tundra looking for polar bears that are congregating in the area and waiting for the Hudson Bay to freeze over.
The more adventurous can travel in a train of tundra buggies for six hours out to Cape Churchill where there can be larger numbers of bears. The problem I have with Manitoba is that the backdrops can be fairly forlorn and empty and the angle of view is always from at least six feet up.
Then there is Wrangel Island off the north coast of Russia - a raw location for sure, but logistically extremely challenging and also a destination that requires the investment of time and money.
The North Slope of Alaska, and specifically Kaktovik, is a bleak place - bleaker even than Manitoba, but in September and October it is the best place in the world to see polar bears - and get close - albeit contextual layers to the image are virtually impossible.
Svalbard is not the best place to see polar bears - I have spent 36 days searching for bears there over the last few years and in total I have seen just 17 bears - less than one every two days.
But this is not a numbers game and Svalbard is, by some distance, the most stunning of these four places to photograph the polar bear. The backdrops have grandeur, scale and depth. Even without polar bears, Svalbard in the spring is still one of the most stunning destinations in the world. The same cannot be said for the other locations - indeed quite the reverse.
|Size(s)||Standard: 132 cm x 162 cm - Large: 180 cm x 210 cm - (sizes including frame)|
|Presentation||Museum Glass, Passe-Partout & Black wooden frame|
|Edition of||12 (standard size )- 12 (large size)|