Polar Bear Leaping, Barents Sea

Polar Bear Leaping, Barents Sea
While running a photography workshop in Svalbard, one of the targets were polar bears, specifically on the pack ice - their preferred habitat. Normally, there would be sea ice quite close to the Svalbard islands (which is in the high Arctic) even in the ice-minimum months of August and September. This year, we needed to steam about 100 miles north before we found it, and encountered several bears in the vicinity of 82°34'N - just around 500 miles from the Pole itself. When the pack ice is not well consolidated, the bears must either swim or, in this case, leap between floes to move about. Quite a sight to see!

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While running a photography workshop in Svalbard, one of the targets were polar bears, specifically on the pack ice - their preferred habitat. Normally, there would be sea ice quite close to the Svalbard islands (which is in the high Arctic) even in the ice-minimum months of August and September. This year, we needed to steam about 100 miles north before we found it, and encountered several bears in the vicinity of 82°34'N - just around 500 miles from the Pole itself. When the pack ice is not well consolidated, the bears must either swim or, in this case, leap between floes to move about. Quite a sight to see!

Love photography? Want to learn how to produce images like this yourself? Check out my sister site, Elevation, where I list the photography tours and workshops that I organize.

I run trips within Ireland and abroad. Past destinations include Iceland, Greenland, Svalbard and the Faroe Islands.