Svalbard #3 2010
22:54 , November 23, 2010
Posted in: Trip Reports

Svalbard #3 2010

This is the last trip report from this summer’s three photo expeditions to Svalbard. The map below shows our travel route.

 

Day 1 – 03.09.2010 It was time for the third and final expedition to Svalbard. On this trip we had a more international group with two photographers from the United States, 2 from Hong Kong, two from France, three from Sweden and three form Norway. This was the first time we’ve had photographers from outside Europe, so it was fun.

We headed back to Alkehornet to see the previous night’s reindeers  again. We shot the reindeers in the soft evening light. After Alkehornet we headed north towards Holmiabukta.

 

Svalbard Reindeer. Nikon D3S with 70-200/2.8, 1/4 sec, f/14 and ISO 160

 

Svalbard Reindeer. Nikon D3S with 600/4.0 VR, 1/250 sec, f/4,0 and ISO 2000

 

Day 2 – 04.09.2010 We arrived at Holmiabukta at approx. 13:00 and saw only one lonely polar bear at the whale carcass. We were extremely disappointed to see a film photographer from another  tour ship on shore, only 50 meters from the bear. More people arrived on shore and the bear was scared away. This was not good, as our group wanted to photograph the bear, but worse for the bear, who had to leave his meal behind. I have never experienced such terrible behaviour from a tour operator on Svalbard. So we headed to the other side of the bay and photographed a polar bear peacefully sleeping on a glacier.

 

Relaxed Polar Bear. Nikon D3S with 600/4.0 VR, 1/1600 sec, f/9,0 and ISO 1000

 

 

Evening light. Nikon D3S with 600/4.0 VR, 1/320 sec, f/5,6 and ISO 2000

 

Day 3 – 05.09.2010 We were stirred awake 03:00 by Olav and Jon-Helge, telling us of a huge whale at the bow of our ship. We arrived on deck and quickly realized that this whale was the largest of them all – the Blue whale. We followed this graceful creature for two hours towards Hinlopen. What an experience!

 

 

 

Before breakfast, we also had two encounters with walruses on ice floes. These animals are funny to photograph!

 

Walrus close-up. Nikon D3S with 600/4.0 VR, 1/640 sec, f/6,3 and ISO 1250

 

At mid-day we met polar bear # 3. This bear made some great paw-prints. The air was calm and the reflections of the arctic landscapes were just magical.

 

Polar Bear tracks. Nikon D3X with 70-200/2.8, 1/640 sec, f/6,3 and ISO 400

 

We encountered thick ice south of Sjuøyene so we couldn´t sail further east. Instead, we headed down to Hinlopen and Bråsvellbreen on the south side of Nordaustlandet.

 

Ice north on Svalbard. Nikon D3X with 70-200/2.8, 1/1600 sec, f/9,0 and ISO 400

 

Island near Sjuøyane. Nikon D3X with 70-200/2.8, 1/800 sec, f/7,1 and ISO 400

 

Svalbard landscape. Nikon D3X with 70-200/2.8, 1/800 sec, f/7,1 and ISO 400

 

Day 4 – 06.09.2010 It’s always great to follow the edge of the ice around Bråsvellbreen. There are many birds here, surrounded by great scenery. Usually there are polar bears too, and we found a medium sized polar bear on the ice. While we photographed the bear, some Pomarine skuas circled around us, which was very funny. The bear left, but I quickly spotted another polar bear in the distance. This was a large male. We got closer and could see a half-eaten seal carcass nearby. With two bears around we got some wonderful images, and the evening light was perfect!!

 

Bråsvellbreen glacier. Nikon D3X with 14-24/2.8, 1/800 sec, f/7,1 and ISO 400

 

 

Blue ice. Nikon D3S with 600/4.0 VR, 1/2000 sec, f/6,3 and ISO 800

 

Polar Bear in arctic landscape. Nikon D3S with 600/4.0 VR, 1/1600 sec, f/7,1 and ISO 1250

 

Pomarine Skua. Nikon D3S with 600/4.0 VR, 1/1600 sec, f/7,1 and ISO 1250

 

Polar bear with seal carcass. Nikon D3S with 600/4.0 VR, 1/1000 sec, f/8,0 and ISO 1250

 

Track of blood. Nikon D3S with 600/4.0 VR, 1/1000 sec, f/8,0 and ISO 1250

 

Polar bear. Nikon D3S with 600/4.0 VR, 1/1250 sec, f/7,1 and ISO 2000

 

Svalbard landscape. Nikon D3x with 14-24/2.8, 1/500 sec, f/6,3 with ISO 400

 

Polar bear in front of glacier. Nikon D3S with 600/4.0 VR, 1/1000 sec, f/7,1 and ISO 2000

 

Siesta. Nikon D3S with 600/4.0 VR + 2X TC III, 1/1000 sec, f/9,0 and ISO 2000

 

Evening scenery. Nikon D3S with 24-70/2.8, 1/400 sec, f/9,0 and ISO 2000

 

Gull fight. Nikon D3S with 600/4.0 VR, 1/320 sec, f/4,5 and ISO 2000

 

Polar Bear. Nikon D3S with 600/4.0 VR, 1/250 sec, f/4,5 and ISO 2000

 

Day 5 – 07.09.2010 The next morning we visited a walrus colony, numbering approximately twenty animals. Two of the walruses were in shallow water, and they were curious. We sailed the rest of the day north through Hinlopen Straight and then west toward Holmiabukta.

 

Walrus. Nikon D3S with 600/4.0 VR, 1/640 sec, f/5,6 and ISO 1600

 

Day 6 – 08.09.2010 In Holmiabukta there were no disturbing film photographers, and the polar bears enjoyed their whale meat. A polar bear swimming quite close to our zodiacs provided some great moments. From Holmiabukta we sailed south toward the Kongsfjorden.

 

Polar bear mirror. Nikon D3S with 600/4.0 VR, 1/1000 sec, f/4,5 and ISO 1600

 

Svalbard mountains. Nikon D3S with 70-200/2.8, 1/400 sec, f/5,6 and ISO 1600

 

Day 7 – 09.09.2010 This was the last day of our expedition, so we spent the morning in our zodiacs in Kongsfjorden. Here there were several large Bearded seals, and one of them was not shy of a zodiac full of photographers.

At midnight we were back again in Longyearbyen.

 

Bearded Seal in Kongsfjorden. Nikon D3X with 70-200/2.8, 1/250 sec, f/8,0 and ISO 400

 

Kongsfjorden. Nikon D3X with 70-200/2.8, 1/640 sec, f/9,0 and ISO 400

 

NOTE: If you wish to participate in a similar photo expedition to Svalbard, you should book soon! Both Photo Expeditions to Svalbard 2011 are already sold out, but there are still spots available at 15-25/7 2012 and 25/7-4/8 2012!

This post is also available in: Norwegian Bokmål

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