Archive for Arctic

Igloolik? Nunavut Canada

Posted in Arctic, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on November 22, 2013 by polarguide

I found some of my Canadian Arctic images today.  I guess I just didn’t take many photos on that voyage because I only came across one folder with about 100 images.  Most of them were taken in one village and I am struggling to remember it’s name. Looking at the map, I would have to guess it was Igloolik.

I was supposed to meet the ship in a little village called Kugluktuk formerly known as coppermine in the Kitikmeot Region of Nunavut Canada. But, I arrived in Edmonton with out a proper work permit and I was flown back to seattle. I waited there a few days for the paperwork to be arranged and then flew in to Cambridge bay, a village on the southern end of Victoria Island, in the Canadian arctic.

This was one of the most fearful flights I have ever taken. Flying VFR in a 707  in dense fog and landing on a dirt runway made me question my choice of profession. we barely made the landing, I was told that two days before a plane crashed trying to make a landing in the fog.

I made it into Cambridge Bay with out incident where the ship was waiting for me.  We set sail later that afternoon and over the next ten days we wove our way west through the northwest passage until we ended our journey in the village of Iqaluit, the capital and largest community of Nunavut, located at the head of Frobisher Bay, on Baffin Island.

After looking through the only folder of images, these are the only ones worth sharing. We landed on the beach at Igloolik and the entire village met us there.  the children had fun playing on the zodiacs and some of the village elders drummed and danced for us.

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The Arctic

Posted in Arctic, bears, guiding, polarbears with tags , , , on November 19, 2013 by polarguide

I have been browsing through my images and today I came upon several files of my Arctic voyages in the summer of 2011.

I spent the month of July 2011 cruising around Svalbard.  Svalbard  is an archipelago above 70 degrees north latitude. It is a territory or Norway and it is quite remote. It was a spectacular month of photographing polar bears, walrus, and  several varieties of arctic birds. All in a dramatic and beautiful landscape.

I flew back to Alaska and in early August 2011 I was back on board the ship, this time in northern canada cruising through the northwest passage.

Here are a few images of those voyages.  I am missing some of my files of the northwest passage voyage. I have some decent shots of a few of the inuit villages we visited. I will post those when I come across them.

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My favorite

My favorite

A little about me..

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on June 15, 2012 by polarguide

You need not leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. You need not even listen, simply wait, just learn to become quiet, and still, and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked. It has no choice; it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.   -Frans Kafka

I am a wilderness expedition guide, massage therapist and photographer.  Mine is  a seasonal life marked by months of intense work followed by months of  waiting for the next thing to come along.   Between seasons while most people I know are toiling  tirelessly at their nine to five, I whittle away the hours sitting on the couch drinking coffee and thinking about things I should be doing. I spend days, even weeks in a state of apathy, unable to muster the motivation to do the dishes. Some days I don’t eat. I anxiously pace around the apartment jacked-up on caffeine, talking to myself, worrying about money and wondering what responsibilities I might be ignoring . Hours pass, days go by and I accomplish nothing.

Sitting in quiet solitude allows time for creative thought.  I turn over ideas in my mind like turning over pages in a magazine.  I pore over each idea as if it were a sexy underwear advertisement,  becoming excited every now and again by one idea or another, then I sip my coffee and think about it.  Weeks pass and roll into  months and I grow restless.  By this point my financial situation is becoming a cause for concern and I begin to seriously consider getting a regular job.

This is enough to get the karmic ball rolling.  Just as my money runs short and my tolerance of myself wears thin the season changes and I get an e-mail reminding me of my next job in some  remote corner of the world.  I relax, sit back and take a long satisfied pull from a thick cup of  espresso, calculating  how many more hours there are between now and when I need to begin packing my bags. Then I remember: my apathy has been so thorough I still haven’t unpacked from the last journey.  Laziness, anxiety and hefty doses of caffeine are, evidently, what fuels the fire of manifestation.

crouching over my computer, scrolling through thousands of photographs that I have created, I realize despite my propensity for procrastination I have accomplished some amazing things. This year I have had the good fortune to travel across the Antarctic and the Arctic circles, photographing  polar bears and penguins.  Weirdly weaving my random assortment of skills into one profession  as an expedition guide and massage therapist on a Russian ice breaker.  I didn’t plan it that way, the opportunities just fell into my lap. One day I am sitting quietly on the couch contemplating my toe-nails, the next thing I know I’m in Antarctica, with penguins and fur seals playing at my feet.

Photography is how I document and share my experiences. My family and friends don’t have the opportunity to join me on my adventures, with photographs I can bring the experience to them. The images I capture help tell my story and hopefully give insight into the nature of the wild places I visit and the creatures that live there.

The last few years my photography has been focused on wildlife. Being a wilderness expedition guide I have the opportunity to witness some of natures most spectacular creatures living in their natural environment. I try to create portraits, close ups that reveal details of an individual animal as a representative of its species. The color and texture of fur or feathers, the detail of the eyes. Secondly, I want to put the animal into context with its environment. I want the animal to be obvious in the composition, at the same time I want to give the viewer a broad sense of the landscape in which the animal exists. I always have the viewer in mind. I want the viewer to have a complete and intimate sense of the animals they are seeing in my work. I want them to be there. I want them to have  the experience that I had.

The two photos above are good representations of this idea.  The first shot of an Orca whale shows lots of detail.  You can see that she is just breaking the surface of the water and discern texture in the bubbles she is blowing from her blow hole. As she surfaces ripples of water stream over her rostrum giving the image a sense of movement. We can make out scarring along her body and the detail in the white ring around her eye.  This image gives the viewer a rare opportunity to study the intricate details of an animal that we are lucky to get a glimpse of in the wild.

The second photo shows two killer whales dwarfed by Immense blue glacier and jagged mountain peaks in a landscape seen nowhere else but in Antarctica.  I think Photos like this are inspirational but often overlooked because of their lack of intimacy with what people expect to be the main subject, the whales.  I feel that photos such as this create a realistic  sense of place.  A cold loneliness hints at the tactile existence of the Orca whale.  It reminds us that we are visitors, and gives us a voyeuristic glimpse into the the lives of one of the oceans most efficient marine mammal predators.

King Penguin, South Georgia Island

King penguin colony, South Georgia Island

And lookie here,  I just accomplished something else. I created a blog! I have been meaning to do this for years and just now, today, finally got up the nerve to do it.  Actually, I have created at least three other blogs ranging in content from 1,000 words to one incomplete sentence. I just haven’t had the motivation to complete a blog posting that was coherent and on topic or that I felt confident letting other people read..the season just changed.

I plan to keep this up.  I would like to post stories and photos to send out to the world hoping it brings something back. Something like money.