Growing up the son of an ice cream store owner and a school teacher in Valley Stream, New York, Steven Kazlowski always craved a life pursuing nature. With a degree in marine biology from Towson University in Baltimore, Kazlowski worked briefly for a marine lab before setting aside a microscope for a camera. He headed to Alaska to become a wildlife photographer, initially working construction jobs and on fishing boats to support his dream. He now works full time as an independent photographer.
After his first sighting of the white bear at a whale-bone pile in Kaktovik, Alaska, he was hooked, fascinated by the powerful creature. He has now photographed polar bears since the fall of 1999 and has directly observed the effects of climate change on their population and environment.
Kazlowski’s photos have been featured in Audubon, Backpacking, Canadian National Geographic, National Wildlife, and Time magazines. Four books exclusively feature his photography: Alaska Wildlife Impressions, Alaska Wildlife of the North, Alaska Bears of the North, and the newly released The Last Polar Bear: Facing the Truth of a Warming World, published by Braided River, a conservation imprint of The Mountaineers Books. The book, on which the Burke Museum 2008 exhibit of the same name is based, uses the plight of the polar bear to examine the devastating impact of global warming on the Arctic coastal habitat.
Residing in Seattle, Washington, Kazlowski travels to Alaska and through western North America during the year, waiting and watching for the perfect photograph.
For more information and photographs, visit Steven Kaslowski's website: http://www.lefteyepro.com.
Arthur C. Smith, III
Arthur C. Smith, III migrated from New York to Alaska in 1992 as a commercial photographer on assignment. Today, he makes his home in the far-flung Inupiaq Eskimo village of Kaktovik, on Barter Island in the Arctic Ocean, where he’s lived year-round for four years. His PolarArt Productions is an on location media production company specializing in high-definition (HD) natural history productions featuring the Arctic.
During his four years as an arctic filmmaker, Smith's work has reached a world stage. National Geographic Films included his polar bear footage in Arctic Tale, the first movie to bring Alaska's polar bears to the big screen. Smith's work has also aired on many arctic-themed broadcast TV programs, including National Geographic Explorer and Discovery Channel's Expedition Alaska.
Smith's first major independent film production is Ice Bears of the Beaufort, a sixty-minute HD feature from which an eight-minute edition was cut to accompany the traveling exhibit, The Last Polar Bear: Facing the Truth of a Warming World.
See a sample clip of Ice Bears of the Beaufort in our podcast.