Our first day out in the arctic started with a very early wake up call. Humpback whales just in front of the ship the expedition leader said over the ship wide intercom. Having laid out all my photo gear the night before in preparation of getting the call at any moment I was ready to jump on a moments notice. The call came and I was the first (other than the crew) out on the bow of the ship with my camera in hand taking pictures of the magnificant humpback whales.
The excitement wasn’t nearly over that day. Shortly after our first whale sighting we had our first polar bear far off in the distance.
One of the ways to get good polar bear pictures if you don’t have a mega zoom lens is put a small point and shoot up to one of the many spotting scopes around the ship. Miki was able to get some pretty nice shots using this technique. It’s sure a lot cheaper and more convenient than buying a 500mm lens. But it still doesn’t have the quality that a good slr/lens combo can have… or at least that is what I tell myself to justify all this gear
The reason the bears are out on the ice this time of year is because that is where there food is. This seal was a couple hundred yards away from the resting polar bear. The seal also seemed to be trying to take a nap but always had one eye trained on the bear… just in case.
After our whale and polar bear sightings we arrived at our destination for the morning, Gnålodden. It’s a rocky landing with a vertical wall covered with what seems like thousands of chattering geese. The geese weren’t the main attraction of this landing though. An arctic fox shuttling it’s pups from one den to another right in front of us was the photographic highlight of the day. This was a very rare sight and to see it up close was a treat. We were confused what the fox was carrying at first. Looking at the back of the LCD screen it looked like the fox was carrying a teddy bear.
In between photographing the amazing arctic fox sighting I took the time look around. It’s important not to get tunnel vision on focus on only one subject. The best shot could be behind you.