2015 April Photograph of the Month: Polar Bear Blues

The photograph of the month for April 2015 was taken during my recent expedition to photograph Polar Bears in Svalbard in the Arctic this winter. If you have been following my blog (or read the story in the news) you will know that this bear was unfortunately shot dead only a few days after this photograph was taken (You can read my thoughts on this tragedy that could have so easily been avoided). The investigation into the death of this bear and the circumstances that led up to the attack and shooting are currently under investigation. I hope to report the findings of the investigation when they are released later this month.

This particular photograph is a very emotional image for me because of the tragic set of circumstances that led up to the death of this magnificent animal and the time I had spent photographing it only days earlier. I debated with myself for quite some time about wether to make this the photograph of the month for April and ultimately decided I would like this print to go to someone who will not only appreciate the print, but also the story behind it. I watched and photographed this magnificent Polar Bear play around this piece of blue ice against the backdrop of the glacier in Tempelfjorden in Svalbard for well over an hour. It was one of the most playful Polar Bears I have ever encountered and watching it climb over and play around this piece of blue ice was a very unique and special experience. I also photographed the same bear two days before this image as it lay on a fresh seal kill under the polar winter sunset. Polar Bear BluesYou can Win a free Fine art Print  13″ x 19″ of this photograph including shipping anywhere in the world. All you need do is to be the first to comment on this post on the home page with your thoughts on why you like this photograph or why you would like to own a print of the image and then share the post with your preferred social media outlet. Just keep in mind that due to my hectic travel schedule it may take me some time to make and post out each print so if you are the lucky winner for a given month I ask that you jut exercise a little patience and as soon as I am back in my studio in Australia and as soon as practical I will make the print and send it to you – free of charge. Each print will be made and personally signed by me with the same care and attention to detail I exercise on my large gallery prints. There will be a total of twelve prints to win throughout the calendar year. The first three prints of the year were won by Fred JenningsChris Roberts and Caroline Hind and their prints have now been delivered, framed by them and are hanging on their walls (Caroline your print is shipping next week).

Good luck and don’t forget in order to win the print you need to be the first to comment here on the home page on the April photograph of the Month for the 2015 calendar year with your thoughts on why you like the photograph or why you would like to own a print and to then share the post with your social media outlet of choice.

19 thoughts on “2015 April Photograph of the Month: Polar Bear Blues

  1. This image shows the world of the Polar Bear and the vanishing world it must survive in. The isolation of the bear on it’s bed of ice, where they are happy to be. In addition, the difficult environment that should remain theirs, not to be invaded my mankind and hunted to near extinction.


  2. I love that image for many reasons, Joshua. The bear stands out all alone. His position as if he is getting ready for a rest. But the story of its life cut short by stupidness of humans is what really touched me. Words can’t expressed what I felt when I read your posting. I felt ashamed that humans can be so reckless and put blame on wild animals for their mistakes. I can only wish that it will never happen again.


  3. Another gorgeous photo. I especially love the alone and cuddly feeling of this, especially knowing polar bears can also be a ferocious predator. The yellow tint of its fur contrasts so nicely against the blue hue of the ice and snow. Good job Joshua


  4. Josh, I find the impending plight of polar bears quite sad, and their being hunted for sport makes this sadness all the more intense. The aftermath of this picture embodies this sadness for me.


  5. Josh,

    I totally love following you on all of your adventures and viewing your work always brightens my day. Until that is when you posted the news about this polar bear. My heart was heavy with grief over this irresponsible act. By others sharing this story, I hope that is brings awareness to all to respect our natural treasures.


  6. Hi Joshua,

    What I like about this picture is that it might have helped start a campaign to bring awareness to all nature and wildlife lovers, photographers, etc. who venture into the habitat of wild animals and without necessarily meaning to, harm and have a negative impact. I am an explorer and true lover of animals. I dive as well, have a dog for my best friend, etc.

    😉 And have participated in the Polar Bear on Edge campaign.


    P.S. Will most probably join you on a future trip to the Arctic.


  7. This is so beautiful. I always think of Polar Bears as gentle giants, not sure why. The story of this one is so sad. Maybe lessons can be learned from this story.


  8. Hi Josh, since I was a small child I have dreamed about polar bears. I imagined they were soft and cuddly and would make great pets. I have grown up slightly since then, and now dream to see them roaming in the wild, flourishing and being bears. I have followed your work for sometime now and it is a bucket list item to come along to one of your polar expeditions. When I read about this beautiful animal being killed, I cried. It is just not right. I would be honoured to have this print hanging in my house, and tell everyone who saw it about the plight of the bears and what tragic circumstance took this young bear far too soon.


  9. As always , beautifully captured. The colours are just superb. Congratulations again , and welcome home for Easter.


  10. Love this photo and was saddened to hear the news of this polar bear that you shared in your earlier post… a beautiful picture to remind us of the frailty of nature and the responsibility we all have to look after our world better.


  11. Hi Joshua,

    I’ve been following your work for a long time (and hope one day I can join one of your expeditions), and I also read the news about the killing of the bear and instantly thought that the group probably wasn’t supposed to be where they were and that’s why such a stupid death happened. But I wonder if the tourists had a guide with them who said it was ok to set camp there or whether they were there alone – I wouldn’t think you can just wonder around in this region without a permit and a local guide? My concern is that we might see this happen again and again just for the sake of some people making money and others needing something “wild” to post on their social media to show off – without no respect for the animals and the environment.
    I like this photo very much because, with all the sad story behind, it shows innocence and peace – something that humans have forgotten the meaning 😦


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