The best place in the world to photograph Polar Bears is Churchill, Manitoba, Canada. With a population of around 1200 bears and established infrastructure it’s possible to visit and get excellent photographs of Polar Bears in just a few short days.
Many people, pros included shoot on Aperture Priority, leaving it up to the camera to figure out the shutter speed for an image. Well it’s time to take control of your shutter speed and master this often overlooked component of your image. Learn it, use it, and love it.
The shutter speed is the speed at which the shutter moves when exposing the sensor to your image. If it moves quickly, the sensor has a small fraction of a second to record the image. A slower shutter speed gives the sensor more time to record everything it sees. It sounds simple, and it is, but understanding this enables you to shoot creative and dramatic shots.
I’ve studied Brown Bears (Ursus arctos) and Polar Bears (Ursus maritimus) for many years. Polar bears are thought to have evolved from Brown Bears and still share many physiological similarities. One I’d like to address is the Darwinian concept that the largest and strongest males dominate all other suitors and mate with the female. This, in theory, will pass on the males large and strong genes to the next generation. While this is a great theory and in line with much of what we know to be true, I’d like to throw a ‘spanner in the works’. First posited by Carmen and Conrad Field, permit me to introduce, the Sneaky Copulator.
I give presentations from time to time, and am often asked what the difference is between the Arctic and Antarctic. On the surface, this is a simple question. The Arctic is essentially a body of water bordered by several different countries. The Antarctic is land surrounded by water. Polar bears in the north, penguins in the south, and never the two shall meet. But, for those who have traveled in both, there is much more to it than that.
The Galapagos Islands straddle the equator 600 miles west of Ecuador. Discovered in 1535 by a Spanish Bishop and made famous by Darwin’s visit in 1835 and subsequent publication of The Origin of Species, the islands comprise an archipelago of 19 extraordinary islands. Each island is unique and offers a stunning variety of wildlife and scenic vistas. Well acclimated to visitors, the wildlife is always out and waiting for you. Watch out for nesting birds as you hike along the many trails, and then swim with the acrobatic sea lions as they dance through the clear waters. Tortoises roam the highlands, while marine iguanas feed on the green algae near shore. The Galapagos Islands are an exceptional year round destination and one that everyone should visit in their lifetime.
One of the great advantages of digital cameras is the ability to get instant feedback on every image you take. Histograms are a key component, ensuring a perfectly exposed image, every time. They allow you to correct exposure issues and perfect your shot in the camera which can dramatically reduce the time it takes to process and ship the image.
The white balance feature employed by digital cameras negates most color added by external filters attached to your lens. However, there are several types of filters that still work and should be included in your camera bag.