Entries Tagged ‘Greenland’:

Greenland Arctic Photographic Adventure

Filed in Events, Workshops on Feb.11, 2011

A wilderness journey deep into the pristine fjordlands of Arctic Greenland, travelling unheard and unseen in this world class race yacht, The Polar Bear.  This environmentally sensitive photographic adventure provides an opportunity to explore remote arctic valleys, rugged mountain passes, iceberg-filled fjords and the rich summer tundra of this amazing place on earth,  at the same time leaving less of a carbon footprint as we sail these beautiful waters.

The Arctic summer is magnificent, for a short season the sun makes endless circles above the horizon bringing a unique light and energy that is shared both sides of the Arctic Ocean.  High pressure is usually in charge at this time of year creating more stable weather and for a period of three months or so, we are treated to some of the finest shows on earth.

If you have dreamed of sailing amongst colossal ice-bergs, being surrounded by breaching whales or watching a glacier calve another million tonnes of ice into the ocean, then this amazing 14 day photographic adventure is for you.  Polar Bear is not a cruise ship, allowing for the very best opportunities for photography at a much lower perspective, as the yacht sits lower in the water giving you a truly special  experience.

Sailing in East Greenland is very far from the ordinary, a landscape which is dominated by jagged mountains and glaciers, dramatic cliffs and enormous ice bergs.  Scoresby Sund (70°32’N 24°21’W) which is the the largest fjord system in the world.  It is a sea in its own right, 200 miles deep with many linked fjords offering endless exploration.  The Sund is frozen and un-navicable in winter, however, a typical summer will allow a few short months for us to get in and absorb the atmosphere.

The timing of this 14 day trip has been specially designed with this in mind where it will give the very best and magical opportunities to everyone on broad.  You will see these amazing sites along with the breathtaking wildlife that live in this part of the world, where we will have almost 24 hours of sunlight a day, giving you that magic light a photographer always wishes for. We will have the boat to ourselves as Craig Jones Wildlife Photography has chartered the whole boat along with a small and expert crew to get us into the best places along this magnificent coastline.

One of the main animals we will be looking out for during this trip is the magnificent Polar Bear or Nanuuq as the Eskimos call it in this land of ice and home to this great Arctic wanderer. They spend most of their time at or near the edge of the pack ice, this is where they are most likely to find their food.  Due to the very nature and design of our craft will we be able to approach unseen and unheard in most parts where this will have a major effect on the sightings of various different wildlife in this region, Polar bears being one.

This was one of the main reasons for choosing this ship ; The Polar Bear instead of the ice breakers as it will have alot less impact on the environment, with lower carbon emissions, all helping in the fight against climate change and global warming, at the same time not disturbing the wildlife so much as we creep into the sheltered bays and coves, just perfect for wildlife photography.  Also as you can see from this video sound travels great distances under the ice where the animals both sea dwelling and land based hear everything.

Being powered by sails will drastically cut down on the noise our ship will make allowing wildlife to act normally in this area without any noise pollution from large turbine- engines.  At the same time providing dependable transport and accommodation way beyond the limits of other commercial boats, and very in keeping with my own style of wildlife photography where I like to work the land, photograph only wild animals, approach using fieldcraft, respecting the animal first and foremost, in turn helping them to relax and be less hindered by my presence.  This is the aim of this adventure, carrying forward this standard in this very precious and delicate environment.

With the amazing 24 hour light this means we can take full advantage of all opportunities that happen and present themselves to us as a group.  Whether that be Polar bears, Walrus on the ice or sailing through spectacular icebergs. We will also explore by zodiac and go ashore to capture the wildlife at the same time see and visit the local Inuit people that live here always under the expert guidance of the crew alongside myself.

Greenland is one of those places that is still slightly untouched.  This trip will take you right into the heart of the Arctic Circle. Greenland has around 15 different species of whales that are regular visitors to these Greenlandic waters, but only three of these – the Beluga, Narwhal, Bowhead are most common, with Blue and Killer Whales, also very popular in these food rich waters.  During the summer season it is Humpback, Minke and Fin Whale species that can be seen the most, where the blow holes are the first indicator they are around. The crew of the Polar front often witness these amazing animals in these water during the summer months, another major plus for us sitting lower in the water where we will be almost level with them as they surface for air.

The Land of Midnight Sun
Midnight sun can be experienced north of the Arctic Circle for a period lasting from a single day to five months depending on how far north you travel. In central Greenland the sun does not set from the end of May until the end of August. During this period, the soft, warm rays from the low-lying sun make the surrounding scenery appear almost dreamlike; icebergs and hilltops are bathed in a surrealistic palette of pink, purple, yellow and red hues.

This unusual phenomenon is due to the tilt of the Earth’s axis in relation to its orbit round the sun. North of the Arctic Circle it means that the sun can be seen around the clock during the summer months. In contrast, the dark polar nights are characteristic of the region during the winter. In the southerly regions of Greenland that do not lie within the Arctic Circle there is no midnight sun, although the nights certainly do remain light during the summer months.

This amazing adventure can be seen here with links to the ships quarters and layout of the ship.  This is where you will live and spend time when not out on deck, watching as we pierce through the sea. It will also show you some information on this ex-round the world racing yacht, giving you the idea of life on broad. The photo tour is for a maximum of 10 people where there are double quarters for couples as well as single spaces for lone travelers.

I feel this trip is very unique and bespoke for the many reasons I have already mentioned and Greenland is becoming a place that is creating great interest around the world so I feel privileged to be leading this photographic trip alongside such a brilliant ship into these Arctic waters. I have had some great interest from many people around the world as well as here in the UK where places are limited to 10 people only.  The UK people that book will have a group flight where we all fly out together to Greenland.  The guys who’d like to book from other countries can meet us there on the Saturday morning, then we all broad Polar Bear together and head out into the wilderness.  For more information please contact me here

“Amongst the higher latitudes, the light, scenery and wildlife seem to work together, providing the perfect ingredients for great photography.  We have been lucky enough to visit the most stunning environments you could imagine, encounter whales and dolphins close enough to touch and watch glaciers calve enormous icebergs before our eyes.  Photography is a passion held amongst us all and we love sharing what we have seen” .. Harriet Norton – Polar Front

Read full post

The Deer Rut -A Little Behind

Filed in Wildlife, Workshops on Oct.19, 2010

As the trees lose their leaves and the countryside is turned in to a mosaic of stunning colours, animals all around the country are feasting on the bounty of food that is plentiful now, from berries to horse chestnuts, the countryside is a wash with food.  Birds starting to migrate to and from the UK with lots going on.  My time has been completely absorbed with this beautiful season, autumn.  One of the most spectacular events in the natural world during the month of October is the rutting of Red, Fallow and other species of Deer in and around our country.  However, this year this event is behind within the timing of the seasons and well overdue where previously the rut would be in full swing now.

Over the last week I have been to several different places throughout the UK where there is a good population of both Red and Fallow Deer and the clear evidence was that among the posing and the gesturing things really hadn’t kicked off  or so to speak, with the air thick with the very strong smell of each deer, with the males posturing to the other males in a show of strength in order to control and hold onto their females who are never that far away during this time, such is the competition to mate with them the moment they come into season by the ever present and opportunistic males that roam the land during the rut.

During my time at Bradgate Park, Leicester, which is one of the places I visit, the deer have been really slow to start their rut this year, so while I was waiting I started to photograph the Black-headed Gulls as you could hear them from miles away with the loud, screening calls.  I composed this image in portrait mode and the shadow is formed by a large treeline to the left covering in parts this little brook that runs through Bradgate into darkness.

One of the places I visit in the UK has a really good woodland area and when you walk through these woods with their well established and majestic trees there is always a lot of actively around with youngsters and females darting all over the place, but then you can come across a male Red Deer, and upon first sighting, those few first seconds all things flash through your head as you are close to a large animal who is full of testosterone, eye contact cannot be averted as you watch him and he watches you.  I always stop and start to retrace my steps for a moment as not wanting to disturb the animal first and foremost but also to diffuse the situation as I feel my heart doubles in speed.

The image below was just one of those precarious moments that I found myself in during the last week, where this large male Red Deer just appeared from no where, approaching from around this tree he stood there with a clear look of menace upon his face, firmly standing his ground where his posture and stance told me he was to be left alone.  The moment you forget these animals are wild and highly aggressive during this rutting period is a moment you may live to regret should they attack.  My advice is try to stay at a safe distance away from the animal and a safe distance is one where you don’t intrude into its personal space, if you do, back off slowly and leave them in peace.

With the Autumnal colours the Fallow Deer blend in so well within these habitats and their coats are beautiful to see, with clear markings throughout, as the two photos below clearly show with this male who had a stunningly beautiful coat for the ladies.

I was lucky enough to see a little action at one of the locations from a group of female Red Deer that were following around the dominant male most of the time with a younger female becoming a little boisterous, as I watched them through the viewfinder I could see their behaviour change and in a flash they both rose up and started to kick out at each other but as soon as this started it finished and I count myself very lucky to have witnessed and captured this brilliant behaviour among Red Deer females.

The male Red Deer pictured early went onto challenge the dominant stag, calling to each other, their primeval sounding roars echoing all around the place, the air changed as each male roared with the females choosing to sit around the dominant stag as he called out, matching each and every call from his competition, brilliant behaviour to watch.

Then in a flash they started to fight, twisting and turning each others neck with their massive antlers until one submits and by doing so he loses his females which in this case happened, a cruel world where only the strong survive as the saying goes.

A big thank you to all the people I met and that came to say hello over the weekend during the Great Peak District Fair in Buxton, with thousands of people coming through the doors it really was a great event.  I was displaying my work and again it went down really well, so thanks for sales and workshops purchased.  My Gift Vouchers sold really well as presents for Christmas where they come in a really nice black envelope and are sent signed and dated by myself.  I have a place left on my Tigers trip and there are still some places left on my other Photo-Trips  for next year, should you wish for more info on them then send me an email on my contact page and I’ll be happy to go through anything you wish to know.

For 2012 I have secured a sailing yacht and I have chartered this for this amazing 14 day trip around the coastline of Iceland for two days before heading north to Greenland for Polar Bears and many other animals that live in this breathtaking place.  Living on broad this ex-racing yacht will enable us to see the amazing wildlife from the water, where we will then go ashore, exploring the different areas off the beaten track. Working with local expert guides in Greenland to photograph the Polar Bear, the trip is for 10 people and more information will be available very soon. Below is a few images taken on broad showing this breathtaking environment where Humpbacked Whales fish and will be high on our wish list.

This will be an exceptional and very unique trip that will capture nature from the sea and the land where the wildlife will be everywhere, more details very soon.

Read full post