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Pictures Of Polar Bears - Taking Your Own Pictures of Polar Bears

tour photo tours providers

The polar bear is a majestic icon of all that is rugged and wild in the northern extremes of our planet, and rightly so; with males that can weigh over 1,600 pounds and paws the size of dinner plates, the polar bear is a truly awesome sight to take in. With an ever increasing focus on wildlife and nature conservation, these amazing creatures have gained almost celebrity status from films, television shows, and commercials as well as gaining more focus from various wildlife protection agencies. This fame is almost directly responsible for one of the most effective and entertaining aspects of polar bear conservation, the polar bear photo tour.

Photo tours for polar bears are becoming more popular every year as the opportunity for an individual to obtain their own pictures of polar bears up close and personal is very hard to resist. With the popularity of these types of ‘eco-tours’ on the rise, the costs associated with them has dropped significantly; no longer are these types of adventures exclusively for the ultra-rich. The polar bear holds a strong lure for amateur photographers and professionals alike, with both skill levels often co-mingling on these outings. The most popular locations for taking polar bear pictures have traditionally been in Alaska and Canada, but a few lucky observers have snapped stunning pictures of polar bears as far south as the coasts of Greenland and Iceland and as far away as Russia. While there are the adventurous few that may have the necessary skills to go off into the Yukon and obtain their own photos, for the vast majority of people the guided photo tour is the way to go. Guided tours with experienced personnel not only makes the trip much more enjoyable, but it is also much safer and productive. Utilizing the experience of a guide will help ensure that there are actually opportunities to take polar bear pictures; the constantly shifting coastal ice and varying weather patterns change the environment drastically at times, and this affects where the bears move and forage for food. There are also prime times during the year to see the bears against the dramatic backdrop of the Northern Lights, and witness the drastic color changes in their coats from white to yellow, and in some cases, gray and even brown. Several organizations have embarked on their own versions of the photo tour, and with so many options available, there is likely a tour within just about anyone’s budget constraints. The Alaska Photo Graphics organization (www.AlaskaPhotoGraphics.com) and Natural Habitat Adventures (www.NATHAB.com) are two of the more popular tour providers in the Alaskan and Canadian territories respectively. The World Wildlife Fund (www.WWF.org) also sponsors its own expeditions and endorses many other providers including the NATHAB association. Offering these tours not only helps to educate the public on the importance of polar bears to the world, but also gives the public the chance to witness, and capture on film, these animals in their natural surroundings. Pictures of polar bears brought back from these tours include mothers and cubs emerging from dens, mothers teaching cubs hunting and survival skills, males interacting and mock-fighting as well as feeding and foraging. These tours are a vital tool in the overall conservation scheme, providing much needed funds and resources all aimed at protecting and propagating the species. For a price range varying from around $2,500 to upwards of $10,000, depending on accommodations and duration, just about anyone can take a tour of the Canadian or Alaskan Arctic and return with breathtaking, high quality pictures of polar bears. Many of these providers also have guest speakers and guides that include respected wildlife photographers that can help with aspects like the proper equipment, lighting, the best shooting times, and more. The typical package runs in the $5,000 price range and normally includes around a week in the selected area with multiple trips and photo opportunities. Some providers even offer various types of aerial photography options including helicopters and light aircraft, but these types of activities also carry a substantially higher price with them. Regardless of whether the interest level is just to take an overall vacation with the chance to get polar bear pictures as part of the trip or all the way up to a dedicated polar bear photography expedition, there are some great resources like the WWF and NATHAB to assist you. One of the most important things to remember is to look for an experienced and recognized provider that will ensure physical safety of the bears and the people as well as providing the opportunity to photograph polar bears in the wild.
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