“The Svalbard islands are located in the Arctic Ocean, halfway between Norway and the North Pole. Here, you will find untouched arctic wilderness and unique wildlife in a setting that is both rugged and fragile at the same time. Svalbard has long fascinated travellers. Unique wildlife, arctic nature and old mining towns are all found on the islands, which have a stark and eerie beauty that’s all their own.”
This is how the official Visit Norway website describes this unique and incredible place and it only just begins to put into words how astonishing it really is to experience it for yourself.
At some point during my recent Svalbard expedition I was chatting to one of my guests. We were discussing how different, harshly beautiful and almost overwhelming the landscapes around Svalbard really is and I said to her that the truly unique nature of the place really only hits you when you get home and you start looking at your images. I think this is true for most wildlife and landscape destination and that’s also the reason I never process any of my images from a destination while I am still there.
Yes, we all want to go to Svalbard to see Polar Bears and we did. Yes, Walrus, Whales and Seals make for some amazing images and we photographed a lot of them. Yes, Reindeer are great photographic subjects and we had a few incredible on foot experiences.
But with all of that said there is something about the harsh landscapes and environments that these animals live in that just overpower your senses and begs you to reach for your camera.
Here are a few landscape images from my recent expedition which shows but a glimpse of the beauty of Svalbard.
This was the first of my four Svalbard expeditions that took place towards the end of summer. Apart from the light which was very dramatic and dynamic the difference in landscapes when compared to late May was like looking at two different places. The amount of snow in May makes for much softer landscapes but still cannot hide the jagged black mountains that Spitsbergen is so well known for. It is truly astounding how diverse this place can be.[
During the next week or so I will share a trip report and more images of our group and wildlife sightings so make sure to keep an eye on the Wild Eye Facebook page.
Oh, and if you are keen to join me in 2017 for what will be my 5th straight year of hosting expeditions in Svalbard check out this link or get in touch. At this stage there are only 6 spots left! I absolutely guarantee you an experience that will redefine the way you see landscapes, nature and wildlife photography!
Until next time.
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