Photographing in the Arctic

Photographing in the Arctic is often filled with long periods of waiting—waiting for weather, waiting for animals, waiting for the right light—but these are always followed by times of excitement and wonder.
– Steven Kazlowski, photographer

An extreme pursuit

The challenges of photographing polar bears in their Arctic environment are extreme. The weather is cold and severe—a brutal mix of bitterly piercing wind, snowy whiteouts, and frequent ground fog. And the ever-changing ice is perilous.

It is possible to spend weeks in the Arctic and get only a day or two of suitable photographic conditions. Patience is essential, and long days in a small tent are routine. The cold also wreaks havoc on sensitive equipment: cracked lenses and dead batteries are constant concerns.

And then there are the polar bears…

One must be respectful and ever watchful when living among these wild carnivores. Steven Kazlowski has experienced it all. Capturing these extraordinary photos of a mother polar bear and her cubs emerging from their den involved careful study of the polar bear, months of planning, a long wait, and a lot of luck.

Steven Kazlowski in the Arctic
Steven Kazlowski in the Arctic
Photograph by Tony Fischbach