I am returning home from a very intense 7 day trip to Churchill, Manitoba, Canada. Being from Georgia, any time spent where the sun is only visible for 8 hours a day and exposed skin while outside is in danger of freezing, but add to that spending said 8 hours in a school bus on steroids with 15 complete strangers who have gathered for the sole purpose of watching arctic wildlife and you’ve got a Disney experience Walt never dreamed of.
The organizers, Natural Habitat, sure have a passion & ability to put together such a trip and did so very well. They support and are supported by the World Wildlife Fund & the guides were steeped in the science of the biodiversity of the area, issues, people & everything known that makes the Churchill Wildlife Management Area tick.
Churchill has the most studied & perhaps the densest population of polar bears in Canada, if not, the world. The season for tourist thrills lasts only about 45 days a year, so pack your union suit and sign up.
On a photography note, taking pictures in this environment is tough. Light is flat, the sun keeps any shadows that exist long with high contrast. The snow can be blinding & obscures details. The bears are solitary and stay away from humans most of the time. The temperatures outside are brutal & I was sealed up in a polar rover about 15′ off the ground. Therefore, I don’t feel like many of these images rise above the level of a snapshot, but if you get a feel for what it was like, then that’s what I want.
Now, for the pictures: