Svalbard – 01.-05.04.15

11 04 2015

Polar bears…

Well, first of all, we got to see polar bears this time! 😀

I had in fact given up my hopes this time too, we were heading back home, and our guide told us to halt because he wanted to advance a little bit to check if the ice was safe to drive on, and returning he told us that he had seen not one, but two polar bears “around the corner”, not visible from where we were… so long story short, he instructed us what he wanted us to do, to drive slowly and as quiet as possible, and how to park in formation facing away from the polar bears, in case we would have to leave in a hurry… ;-P

We were around 300 meters away, but still we would be in trouble because they can run at 30 km/h if hunting down a snack, so better safe than sorry… 😀





Svalbard – 01.-05.04.15

11 04 2015

Snowmobile trip to the East Coast

Last time I visited Svalbard, one of the main objective and goal was, as well as this time, to see and photograph polar bears.

I didn’t succeeded last time, so this time we had to rent some snowmobiles and travel out in the wilderness to the East Coast again to search for them again…

The journey on a snowmobile to the East Coast is an experience well worth it on it’s own, seeing polar bears or not. The scenery is beautiful, the glaciers are breathtaking, and the feeling of actually driving around out there on open sea, well on the ice obviously, but it is simply a surreal experience…





Svalbard – 01.-05.04.15

11 04 2015

Some pictures taken from my hotel room..!

My first travel advice about Svalbard: Do not go there! Ever! Unless you are mentally prepared to go back… and back again… It is staggering beautiful, mesmerizing, breathtaking, unforgettable, and addictive… so… you are hereby warned… do not go there…! 😀 (yes yes… I know… my travel advices sucks, but fortunately for other fellow travelers, I’m not working as a guide… 😀 )

I had been there once before, the Easter two years ago, and it fulfilled all my dreams and hopes about the Arctic… I am more like a winter person anyway, I don’t like the summers, and we do have winters on the mainland Norway too, but it is something different about the Arctic… not easy to describe, but the purity, the tranquility, the wilderness, and the lack of people.. being alone (well, apart from other tourists and guides…)… and very close to mother nature…

So I had to come back… and this time my wife traveled with me… she had been here one time before too, but in the summer, so she was very excited to visit Svalbard in the winter…

I am still editing and sorting my photos from the trip, close to 600 raw-files and 19GB, but to start this series of blog entries from Svalbard of, why not start with some photos taken from our hotel room..!

About equipment, after all I have declared this blog to be about photography… I brought with me a Canon 1D4 and a Canon 5D mk II, and a 16-35 f2.8, 70-200 f4 and a 500 f4. And a Hasselblad Stellar (really a pimped Sony RX100..) as a small compact, and… a Leica M6 with 50mm Summilux loaded with a Fuji Provia 100… my intention were to take some beautiful landscapes… but the meter died after only 10 frames… how ironic… Crappy German electronics… leave electronics to the Japaneses… 😀





Svalbard – 24.-28.03.13

29 03 2013

Some mountain images – 24.-28.03.13  

Some taken in daylight, others in dawn. I left before sunset to capture an almost fullmoon to rise over the horizon with these beautiful colours in Svalbard… did my preparations and everything… checked Google Skymap for location (even though I had seen it yesterday)…  lots of clothes to avoid having a miserable time in -25⁰ Celsius… but of course the moon never became visible due to clouds and/or fog… oh well, I like the photos anyway… and a bit of fresh air has never hurt anybody… 🙂





Svalbard – 24.-28.03.13

29 03 2013

“Ice-caving” – 27.03.13

Well, in my definition, it wasn’t really a cave, more like a crevasse (“a crack in the glacier”), but it was a very special experience anyway. Just getting there was a challenge, the weather was really windy and it created a total whiteout. We couldn’t see anything, and had to drive on GPS coordinates alone. Luckily we found the entrance to the igloo, and there we put on crampons and harnesses, and down we went. It was really narrow some places, the ice was squeezing both sides of my shoulders when passing.

The tour company states: “The tour is moderate demanding, and is not suitable for people who suffer badly from claustrophobia.”. Well, I have to agree… 🙂





Svalbard – 24.-28.03.13

28 03 2013

Searching for polar bears at the East Coast – 25.03.13

It is a 200km, 10 hour long ride on a snowmobile to cross Svalbard from Longyearbyen to the East Coast where polar bears can easiest be spotted. The route goes through valleys, over glaciers and finally out on the ice between icebergs where the polar bears are hunting for seals.

I was unfortunately not lucky this time… the closest I got to see polar bears was finding some tracks and holes where they had been sleeping… so instead of getting depressed, I figure it is better to use it as an excuse to return… It is amazingly beautiful out there… 🙂

So, therefore, only landscape photos from this trip… 🙂

However, taking photos in -28⁰ Celsius, with all the clothes, gloves, helmet and so on are very cumbersome and challenging, so coming home with some photos at all is a lot more difficult than one should think, and it makes great memories for me. In fact, we were a group of ten persons, and I was the only taking photos…