33 Days Among the Bears

I'm sure some of you have seen the magnificent photos and videos of a polar bear sleeping in a bed of fireweed by Martin Gregus Jr. When I first saw it, I thought it wasn't real - it was just too perfect. But as this video documentary shows, it is, and taking those photos involved a significant amount of time, preparation, and effort.

In times of generative AI, it's nice to see genuine photography by someone who doesn't shy away from braving the harsh conditions the Arctic throws at him and his team.

Martin's video of his 33-day expedition to photograph polar bears in the summer of 2020 captivated me from the beginning. Seeing all the difficulties Martin went through to photograph the polar bears is inspiring and shows what someone can achieve through hard work and dedication. It's definitely not always the case that large effort leads to great results, but if it does, those are even more rewarding - as is the case here.

The story about his adventure is one of a kind, wonderfully told, and captured. It's fascinating to see how calm these apex predators are in Martin's presence and to learn about their vulnerable side, gentleness, curiosity, and playfulness.

Michael Breitung's picture

Michael Breitung is a freelance landscape and travel photographer from Germany. In the past 10 years he visited close to 30 countries to build his high quality portfolio and hone his skills as a photographer. He also has a growing Youtube channel, in which he shares the behind the scenes of his travels as well as his knowledge about photo editing.

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I watched this the other day and found it fascinating! Photographing Polar Bears is high up my list and what an incredible experience these guys had!

Having been fortunate to visit Churchill, Manitoba and get out on a tundra buggy and photograph these magnificent critters, I can tell you that I'm envious of this adventure. I'm too old to do anything like it, but had I been younger with the time, it would have been something to pursue.

As an aside, if you ever get the opportunity, go to Churchill and book a trip with one of the tundra buggy companies. I used Frontiers North. And, if you are prone to motion sickness, take steps to stop it. The buggies are on float tires and the terrain is not an interstate. ;-)