Photograph of the Month May 2023 Polar Bear Encounter

The photograph of the month for May 2023 comes from my recent Svalbard Spring Light expedition (Read the Trip Report) and is of a young male Polar Bear on the sea ice at Yoldiabukta in Svalbard. This was an extraordinary encounter that resulted in some remarkable photographs. The combination of soft light, deep fresh snow on the sea ice and the near-perfect fur of the bear, in combination with the low angle of view afforded by the zodiac, provided the perfect opportunity. This image was shot full-frame with the Canon EOS R3, and Canon RF 600mm f4L IS USM. F7.1 was used to ensure sufficient depth of field from the tip of the bear’s nose to its midriff. Depth of field, then gently bleeds off in the distance. Thirty frames per second was utilised to ensure the perfect gesture of the bear with the curled front paw. The curl of the paw helps gives a strong sense of forward motion.

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