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White on White – Polar Bear Photography Tips

November 12th, 2010 | By | Filed in ACTIVITIES, Photographers, TRIPS

Polar Bears are curious, inquisitive creatures, as you can see in this video – one is taking notice of a group of Arctic Kingdom observers.

YouTube Preview Image

We’ve discussed cold weather photography before, I thought it’d be interesting to do a survey of tips from some top wildlife photographers about photographing Polar Bears. Clearly this advice is applicable to the other arctic animals you may encounter on a trip with us.

From Wildlife Photography Tips.com -

When photographing the bears you will usually be photographing a white bear in the snow. This means that your camera will tend to underexpose, resulting in a gray bear. You will need to compensate for this by overexposing by 1 to 1 1/3 stops depending on the whiteness of the bear (some are a light cream)

Note – the issue of ‘buggy tracks’ discussed in this article won’t apply when you travel with Arctic Kingdom!

Wildlife photographer Greg Harvey has a list of eleven very useful tips on his website -

Bring the longest lens and the most high end camera that you can afford….. you will need a long lens and a camera that can withstand cold up to -50. I was using a 600mm with a 1.4 teleconverter and a full frame camera body. We were out on the tundra 100 meters away from the bears. At that distance several people were using 800 mm lenses.

If some of this technical jargon leaves you shaking your head in frustration, don’t abandon hope! There are a number of very helpful tutorials online which discuss how to get the best photos of your camera, using manual settings, describing how aperture (f stop) on lenses works, and of course, never underestimate the importance of actually reading your camera’s ‘how to use’ manual.

Good luck! We’re always happy to share photography from our adventurers on here, contact us if you’ve been on a trip and want to share your favorite images.

A few more photography links well worth investigating -

Digital Photography School

Photofocus – A terrific site covering gear, technology, with plenty of advice for improving your photography.

mansurovs.com – Another great round up of advice for beginners in digital photography.

Video From Basecamp, Polar Bear Hunting Seal

November 10th, 2010 | By | Filed in AK NEWS, Films, Recent Trips, TRIPS, Uncategorized

This un-edited footage is from an Arctic Kingdom polar bear viewing expedition in the high arctic in May 2010.

Filmed from base camp at one in the morning, we had just finished dinner when one of our Inuit guides spotted the polar bear in the process of stalking and hunting a seal under the ice. The bear was completely unaware of (or didn’t care about) our presence only a few hundred meters away. This video really gives a sense of the scale of the arctic; the sweeping landscape, the silence of the surroundings, and the unhurried observation of polar bears in their natural environment made possible by our trip logistics.

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Speaking of incredible views, don’t miss this other update from our youtube channel, featuring a ballooning adventure over Baffin Island!

Narwhal Power Assists Climate Research

November 8th, 2010 | By | Filed in Arctic Animals, Current Events, IN THE NEWS, SCIENCE

In a nice turn about from stories about scientists assisting wildlife, a group of creative researchers are utilizing narwhal to help them gather climate change information. Scientists have tagged 14 narwhals with satellite-linked temperature recorders to monitor ocean temperatures in Baffin Bay. While using marine mammals as mobile instrument bearers is not a new concept, this is the first time narwhal have been enlisted to help out.

Nature.com reports -

Traditionally, researchers take seawater temperatures by hanging devices below a survey ship or a helicopter, or by leaving a team on the pack ice over a season to periodically lower a conductivity-temperature-depth (CTD) probe into the water below.
But these options are not practical at Baffin Bay in winter, when it is often inaccessible or inhospitable to researchers.

A study on the results of this research has been published in the Journal of Geophysical Research, co-authored by oceanographer Mike Steele who is with the University of Washington in Seattle. The data gathered has provided a detailed view of the warming of Baffin Bay and will help create more accurate models of future temperatures.

Read the rest of this entry »

Webinar – A Virtual Floe Edge Expedition to Baffin Island

November 4th, 2010 | By | Filed in AK NEWS, Webinar

Join Arctic Kingdom expedition leader Thomas Lennartz for a virtual Floe Edge expedition.

Pulling from his vast experience on Baffin Islands numerous floe edges, Tom shares his insights on traveling in this remarkable expedition and what you could expect to see by joining our upcoming floe edge expeditions – Narwhal and Polar Bear Floe Edge Adventure or the Ultimate Floe Edge Experience – Narwhal, Beluga and Polar Bears.

  • Discover floe edges and the value of high-end expedition travel in extremely small group, land-based trips with an expert team AK expedition leaders in close partnership with Inuit guides
  • See expedition highlights—narwhals feeding, polar bears, soaring glaciers and stunning iceberg, and our safari-style eco-camps.
  • Get a sense of daily activities – from floe edge activities such as kayaking, traveling by snowmobile and qamutiks, hiking, even snorkeling or diving… and more

'Anirniq' Selected by Banff Mountain Film Festival

October 29th, 2010 | By | Filed in Filmmakers, Films, INUIT, TRIPS, Uncategorized

Congratulations to the folks at Brudder Productions, for the selection of their film “Anirniq” as a finalist in the prestigious Banff Mountain Film Festival.

Filmed on location at the floe edge of Pond Inlet with Arctic Kingdom in June of this year, “Anirniq” – Inuktitut for breath – is a short fable about an Inuit man confronting the loss of his father when he was a young boy on his first narwhal hunt. The story explores the Inuit belief that when someone dies their spirit goes into the living creatures around them and thus the Inuit saying: “The great peril of our existence is that our diet consists entirely of souls.”

All ‘actors’ in the film are the very same Inuit guides that assist Arctic Kingdom on the Narwhal and Polar Bear Floe Edge Adventures.

Read more -

Trekking Across the Pack Ice with Brüdder Productions

Reminder! November 2nd Webinar with Thomas Lennartz

October 27th, 2010 | By | Filed in AK NEWS, Current Trips, Team Interviews, TRIPS, Uncategorized

Be sure to register for the November 2 Floe Edge webinar with expedition leader and all around brilliant fellow, Thomas Lennartz. Thomas will be taking questions on our upcoming trips and describing exactly what you can expect to see and experience as you travel with Arctic Kingdom.

Female polar bear and five month old cub at iceberg Navy Board Lancaster Sound, Baffin Island.














Arctic Kingdom's 2010 End of Season Celebration

October 27th, 2010 | By | Filed in AK NEWS, Uncategorized

A unique event is coming up for friends of Arctic Kingdom. You’re invited to our 2010 End of Season Celebration at the elegant Spoke Club in Toronto on Monday November 8th 6:00PM – 8:30P.

This will be a great chance to meet with our team face to face, view some behind the scenes footage from Disney’s ‘Oceans’, take your shot at one of several terrific door prizes, and talk to our special guests – members of a film crew from National Geographic who are leaving with us the next day to film polar bears in James Bay.

Space is limited. Please RSVP to rsvpatarctickingdomdotcom, and read all about it rsvpatarctickingdomdotcom or at www.arctickingdom.com/events.php">here.

Disney Nature's 'Oceans' Now Available On DVD

October 23rd, 2010 | By | Filed in Filmmakers, Films, IN THE NEWS, TRIPS

Disney Nature’s ‘Oceans’ film is now available on DVD and Blu-Ray. We were thrilled and honored to have been involved in the making of this incredible film. If you are interested in learning more about the logistics behind filming in the Arctic, and the resources and expertise we supply to this kind of endeavor, check out our site ArcticFilm.com

YouTube Preview Image

This clip has been posted here before, but hasn’t lost one bit of emotional impact. Graham has discussed the tender scene of the mother walrus cradling her newborn baby while swimming near Cobourg Island.

“Walruses are not only potentially dangerous, but the mothers tend to be protective of their young. So finding one, in clear water, that keeps doing her thing naturally, was pretty incredible.”

You may also recall this interview Graham gave on Canada AM to discuss Arctic Kingdom’s involvement with the film.

To purchase ‘Oceans’ online,

Disney DVD’s official site
Amazon.com

October Newsletter

October 21st, 2010 | By | Filed in AK NEWS, AK PRODUCTS & SERVICES, Current Trips, Featured Trip, Gear, TRIPS, Uncategorized, Upcoming Trip

Our October Newsletter just hit my inbox, and it’s full of special offers and upcoming news.

On November 2, 1:00pm EDT, expedition leader Thomas Lennartz is offering a live webinar to answer questions you may have on our upcoming floe edge expeditions. Pulling from his vast experience on Baffin Island, Tom will share his insights on this remarkable expedition and what you could expect to see by joining our upcoming floe edge expeditions – Narwhal and Polar Bear Floe Edge Adventure or the Ultimate Floe Edge Experience – Narwhal, Beluga and Polar Bears.

Register here to participate, it’s free and a wonderful opportunity to hear about our trips straight from the source.

An update on our 2011 trips – if you are thinking of booking, now is a great time to do so.

Our floe edge trips we find always sell out first and the 2011 Narwhal and Polar Bear Floe Edge Adventure is no exception this year being once again one of our most popular trips. June departures are already 50% sold-out. If you are considering an Arctic trip for 2011 to visit a floe edge – in particular to see the mystical Narwhal, please contact us soon to reserve your spot. Trip departures are limited to only 8 participants. You can take advantage of our Special Booking offer if you book before November 25th.

Subscribe to our newsletter for all the latest news on upcoming expeditions, special deals, and reports from the field. It’s easy! Just enter your email address into the subscription box below.

How Do You Map The History of Your Country?

October 15th, 2010 | By | Filed in Current Events, IN THE NEWS, INUIT, Inuit Culture/Art, Uncategorized

We’ve talked a number of times on this blog about the preservation of the Inuit language and culture, from both a scientific an educational point of view. Discussing the culture of the Arctic in terms of preservation alone is misleading, Inuktitut is a living language, currently spoken and being passed down to the next generation. The Arctic Bay Atlas is one more way in which the community is working to continue the transmission of this knowledge.

The Cybercartographic Atlas of Arctic Bay is an online, community-based atlas project to engage youth and Elders of Arctic Bay, Nunavut in researching, documenting, and representing their multi-faceted spatial knowledge. It involves a partnership between Nunavut Youth Consulting, the Geomatics and Cartographic Research Centre (GCRC) at Carleton University, and Nunavut Arctic College.

The Atlas includes an interactive spoken map of Inuktitut place names in the Arctic Bay Region. These place names are spoken by local Inuktitut speakers. The Atlas also features downloadable PDF maps, local artists profiles, and an interactive map of the 2008 Nunavut Quest, an annual inter-community dog sled that begins in Igloolik and ends in Arctic Bay.


I personally find the ‘Spoken Map‘ page extremely valuable, as my knowledge of Inuktitut is theoretical rather than practical. Studying pronunciation guides is one place to start, yet nothing compares to hearing a language from a native speaker. Hover over each location on the map with your mouse to hear an audio clip of its name, click for further multimedia. There are several more pages on the site, including downloadable PDF maps showing locations of significance and the stories behind their importance to the Inuit people of Nunavut.

Read more -

Wikipedia

Pronunciation Guide

Lessons and more links

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