OP – The Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Svalbard’

July 3rd, 2012

Eyes on the Water

Posted By Kevin Schafer
Harbor Seal, Crossfjord, Svalbard
Landing on a remote beach in arctic Svalbard, I was surprised to see this harbor seal – an animal I often see in the waters of Puget Sound near my home. Staying just offshore, he popped up repeatedly, curious to see who I was and what I was doing. I think he grew especially interested …
August 26th, 2011

Arctic Documentary Project – Svalbard, Norway Final Post #5

Posted By Daniel J. Cox
August 10, Danskøya Island 37F This morning is cold. Most definitely the coolest we’ve experienced. Danskøya Island is on the northwest part of the archipelago and is on the edge of better polar bear habitat. The ice is nearly 80 miles offshore, so any bears that are stranded on the Islands of Svalbard migrate towards …
August 11th, 2011

Arctic Documentary Project – Svalbard, Norway Post #4: Second Trip

Posted By Daniel J. Cox
August 8, 2011, Cloudy and 43F Tanya and I spent the past three days in Lonyearbyen in a small, very European, apartment, catching up on business matters, writing and a little rest before our next group of guests arrived. The first trip went really well, but every adventure to the field is new, so it’s …
August 5th, 2011

Arctic Documentary Project – Svalbard, Norway Post #3: Whales, Walrus Bears and Seals

Posted By Daniel J. Cox
A curious young male walrus spy hops to get a better view of our photo group. Nikon D7000, 200-400mm lens.
July 27 – Clear skies, Temp Around 45F Sailing into the midnight sun, Svalbard, Norway. Nikon D7000 The weather continues bright and sunny. For two days now we’ve had skies with virtually no clouds. Some wind yesterday afternoon but amazingly if it weren’t for the desolate landscape, void of vegetation, and cool temps, I would …
July 25th, 2011

Svalbard, Norway Post #2: Polar Bear Sighting

Posted By Daniel J. Cox
July 23, 2012 Two years ago on my first trip to Svalbard we found a dead whale, floating in the waters of Holmiabukta. It was partially beached, the underside of its large, bloated carcass coming aground on the bottom of the fjord, 50 feet or more from the gray, rocky shoreline recently void of ice. …
July 21st, 2011

Svalbard, Norway Post #1: Montana to Fidembukta Harbor

Posted By Daniel J. Cox
July 20, 2011 Our trip from Montana was uneventful – though flying anymore I find literally painful. When Tanya and I travel overseas we always plan to arrive at least a day early, ideally two or even three. Acclimating to a new time zone slowly can make all the difference on the first part of …
December 19th, 2010

The “Wrong” Lens

Posted By Kevin Schafer
Red-eyed Tree Frog (Agalychnis callidryas) Costa Rica
I am often asked what lenses to take for a particular journey.  My standard answer?  All of them.  Seriously, I have found that I need everything in my arsenal nearly everywhere I go, which explains why my backpack is so unbelievably heavy.  In almost every shooting situation, you can be sure that whatever lens you …
August 29th, 2010

Big and Small

Posted By Kevin Schafer
Polar Bear on pack ice, 90 degrees N.
This polar bear approached our ship and stayed with us for nearly an hour. During that time, I took dozens of shots with my long lenses, straining for close-ups, as if full-frame bears were somehow the gold standard. I had to force myself, in fact, to put away the big glass and try and capture …
August 20th, 2010


Posted By Kevin Schafer
"Shooter" rising, Leifdefjorden, Svalbard
Shooters are chunks of ice that break off from a tidewater glacier under the water, and rise to the surface. This one burst out of the sea, 50 feet high, not far from my Zodiac, water cascading off its surface.  Astonishing. Amazingly, I had the right lens on at the time and whipped around to …
August 19th, 2010

To Bear Island

Posted By Kevin Schafer
Polar Bear on Pack Ice, 81 degrees North
Winter is coming to the Arctic: the tundra has turned a brilliant gold, the seabirds are heading south, and the mountains are already white with new snow.  But the polar bears are happy – the sea ice will soon form again, and seals will once again be on the menu. The pack ice has retreated …