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Polar Bear


Posted by Steve Kaluski on Wed Nov 06, 2019 5:56 am

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This was the first Polar bear we found on the first day, not realising we would then encounter another 20 more over the expedition, with a further six more from a distance.

As we quietly sailed into the fjord there he was, lying down on a small island with this glacier backdrop. He would occasionally lift his head, sniff, yawn and give the odd glance to us, then would fall back in the land of nod. After some three hours he finally got up, stretched and made his way slowly towards the edge of the island where he quietly slipped into the water. We then deployed the two zodiacs and shadowed him from a healthy comfort zone. he must have swam about 3kms before surfacing back onto land and gently made his way to the spit, overlooking us from around 20ft above.

Our patience paid off delivering around 15 minutes of prime shooting, he I think loved the attention, whilst cleaning his paws , resting his head on his paws, or just watching, it's all about respect. The angle belies shooting much lower.


Thanks to those who viewed or commented on the previous posting. click to see a larger version.

Steve

Subject: Polar bear (Ursus maritimus)
Location: Svalbard
Camera: Canon 1DX MKII
Lens: 500mm f/4 MKII plus 1.4x MKIII
Exposure: 1/2000s at f/8 ISO3200 
Original format: Landscape, slight crop from the top FF width
Processed via: LR Classic release 9 & PS2020

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by John Spreitzer on Wed Nov 06, 2019 10:34 am
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Outstanding! Need to view large!
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by Steve Kaluski on Wed Nov 06, 2019 10:54 am
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Cheers John, at 1600px it's even better, you can almost touch him!!!!  :D 
 

by Carol Clarke on Wed Nov 06, 2019 7:18 pm
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Beautiful close up detail, especially in the larger view! This would make a good image for a poster campaign on his shrinking polar habitat, Steve, - he looks so melancholy.

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by Ed Cordes on Wed Nov 06, 2019 9:40 pm
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Wonderful pose and great detail. The story is also super.
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by Steve Kaluski on Thu Nov 07, 2019 8:54 am
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Thanks folks.

I'm really trying to convey both the size of these guys which is immence, plus the texture and tone of the coat. Polar bears vary in colour, this one was really grubby, others on the pack ice are almost pristine white.

Indeed Carol, after returning back we have been campaigning more on the illegal hunting aspect. One of the main hotels that everyone uses before departing on their adventure has a Polar bear skin on the wall. For those who it is their first time, then it's not a good aspect perhaps to promote?

Thanks again
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by Paul Rossi on Thu Nov 07, 2019 8:32 pm
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Very nice close-up scene and explanation I enjoyed very much.
 

by Steve Kaluski on Fri Nov 08, 2019 2:20 am
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Thank you Paul.
 

by Cynthia Crawford on Sat Nov 09, 2019 9:23 pm
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I am astounded by those huge paws! Great photo- really gives a sense of the size and power of this beautiful animal. He is, indeed, a poster boy.
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by clement on Tue Nov 12, 2019 9:52 pm
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WOW what a beauty this is.. the one Animal that I want to see before my journey ends on this planet..
 

by Steve Kaluski on Wed Nov 13, 2019 4:53 am
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Thank you Mods for nominating this image, much appreciated.
 

by Steve Kaluski on Wed Nov 13, 2019 4:59 am
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'the one Animal that I want to see before my journey ends on this planet.'

Thank you Clement

This is the third tour and we were very fortunate with our encounters and the light, not everyone was so fortunate. One guy only saw six bears on the 'sister' ship and I think Jay saw even less. Svalbard is not like Africa, harder terrain to search in and sighting are very hit and miss. Try to book onto a small ship and 14 days, but it will impact on the 'Piggy Bank', but the rewards can be awesome. Good luck when you do.

Steve
 

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