挪威夏季北極生態探險歸來(Back from the Svalbard Photo Expedition summer 2016#2)
在 “2016挪威北極生態探險之旅行前” 文內提到有關此次再度前往挪威北極(Svalbard群島)的目的和想法，其中最主要的想法是根據過去兩次經驗，以一個攝影人來說參加小團體行程似較能聚焦北極生態的拍攝，因此決定首次參加由挪威當地攝影師Sevin Wik帶隊的團體，由於人數不多(10人)可搭乘小型動力帆船，優點是機動性高並且可非常靠近拍攝的目標、行程內容彈性較高，但缺點則是生活的舒適性較差，無論如何我們是以拍攝照片為主要目的，在小團體中大家相互幫助、包容也是一番新的體會，此行見識挪威人個性的嚴謹和驚人的耐力，由於我是唯一的台灣人特別能體會他們對外國人的禮貌，而非經驗裡維京人的印象，在小船上生活均採互助使拍攝活動更加靈活充實。
In the blog of ” before Svalbard Photo Expedition Summer 2016″, I mentioned the thought about the trip again to Svalbard, among them the main point is as a photographer to join the small group can more concentrate on the wildlife shooting according to the previous 2 large group cruises, so the result was to join the local photographer Sevin Wik’s group, with total 10 people cruised by a powered yacht, the advantage is we have more flexible schedules and closer to the shooting subjects, but suffering a not much comfortable living condition comparing to the large group ones, nevertheless, our purpose of the cruise is to get more interesting images of the wildlife, further more we shared a help each other mode of the stay in a small photography group, I had at the first time experiencing the character and powerful endurance of the Norwegian people, as a Taiwanese, I experienced a different style of the tough Vikings which replaced by a more polite manners to the foreign people, we enjoyed a more colorful photo shooting by sharing one another the living or photography skills during the cruise.
The Cruise Map
We have had many chances to see the wildlife very closely specially the Polar bears, this is a very unique experience, the members in our group are all experienced photographers, their equipments to me are all first encountered in my photography carrier, such as the self made underwater camera and flash etc., I have gained a lot of information through the interchanging experience on photography, which it won’t be possible learnt in the class, furthermore, the inspiration from the group members such as the shooting angle、creative background and the story telling images etc., plus the effectively living attitude are all worthily mimic.
The diary of the cruise:
Day One: Around 11:30am in the morning, group leader Sevin arranged the luggage on board, weather was drizzle, we planned to leave on 12 noon but one member from England still couldn’t catch up, the rest of us have all met last night, Sevin decided to start our cruise as waiting till the midnight.
Day Two: Through the whole night I got up around 5am, actually it was white night, the sun will not go down and hard to distinguish day or night, after breakfast I took some shoots of the birds, jetlag kept me in bed again, awaked by Sevin informed that have found the first polar bear of this cruise, As we approaching the shore there was a polar bear strolling along the water for foods, the noise of shutters blasted, Sevin thinks it is a male bear around 4-5 years old, we followed him until he moved to the hill.
Day Three: Today we cruised toward the fiord, the weather turned out to be shinning, we passed through an area full of icebergs, an seal found on a ice, before dinner we found again 2 bears on the hill, Sevin suggested back to bed and come out to shoot until the bears have some activity again.
Day Four: About 3am, Sevin waked us up and boarded the zodiac, moving to the shore last night, the white night made no morning at all, sunshine striking out of the clouds lighting the remote picks just like a search light, no movement of the bears through the whole night, in the afternoon, when we cruised again around the shore there were 2 more bears found, we kept cruising along the north western corner of the Spitzbergen to the east in the evening, the strong wave of the North Pole sea drove the board dancing the whole night.
Day Five: After 12 hours up and down in the bed, we arrived a bird cliff with over million birds surrounding there according to svein, nearly no voice could be heard between talks, we used long lens as 400mm, 500mm, even 800mm to shoot the birds flying and approaching to the sea or under the water to find better shoots, in the afternoon we cruised passing the northern east corner toward the south, along the way we found a group of walrus on the shore, their slow movement is because of their heavy weight around 700-800 kg each.
Day Six: In the morning we found 3 bears on the cliff which full of rocks and grass, this is my first time to shoot the polar bears on the cliff and get grass as the food, I was wondering that whether the bear have become vegetarian animal, maybe because of the global warming that force them move from the sea ice to the rocks for surviving.
Day Seven: About 2pm, Svein waked us to take some more shoots of those 3 bears yesterday, today also found a small fox under the cliff sneaking in the rocks, occasionally he was approaching to the bears, I was curious that if the bear would catch him for food, in the afternoon we arrived an area of iceberg found some seals and keep cruising East to an island “Wahlbergoya”.
Day Eight: After a quite nice sleep, in the morning around 7 o’clock we arrived the area of the island yesterday mentioned, here the iceberg were scattering and we were approaching a huge glacier mountain, found more than 10 bears on there, there are also groups of walrus on the scattering big rocks in the sea, we jumped into the zodiac moved closing to the shore and had some closing shoots of the bear, after dinner we went again to get some shoots with a golden sun set color, but actually there is no real sun set in this season in the polar area, I did some shoots with a golden shinning lighting on the bear’s back, it was midnight as we drove back to the board.
Day Nine: Today I got up little late, we cruised again after breakfast to the shore for some more shoots on the bears, we cruised in the afternoon to the West of the Spitzbergen after 2 days stay, late afternoon we approaching an island and found again 2 bears, here we met a tourist ship, they were surprising on the record of our finding total 32 bears during this trip, and this also break the record of Svein’s Svalbard expedition.
Day Ten: Today I got up around 7, the living mode on board have become more stable, but we have only 4 days left of this cruise, arrived in a small island North of the Spitzbergen, found again a group of walrus, Svein did some very close or under water shooting of the walrus, in the afternoon we kept cruising back and the pursuit of foxes and reindeers, the wind was getting stronger skipper decided to use the sails for saving the energy, it was my new experience again, the fiercely board shaking made us felt like sleep on an outdoor swing bed hanging between trees.
Day Eleven: About 7am our boat reached a fjord area in the West of the Spitzbergen, there were several reindeers scattered in the slope of the steep rock mountain, Svein informed that there might be foxes in the mountain, we climbed some distance but still no any trace of the fox, since it got late we decided back to the boat, before leaving one partner found 2 foxes up the steep mountain slop, when we climbed they just went back to the mountain.
Day Twelve: On the way back to Longyearbyne, today we arrived to a shore there is a small hut which built in the beginning of 19 century by the German expeditors, we can see the photos, some household tools etc. like a mini museum, we cruised in the afternoon to the famous glacier gulf the “Lillehookbreen”, a compound of iceberg and glacier, as we further cruised back we also visited “NY Alesund” a polar weather researching base, it was a deserted mine in the early 19 century, we could see some historical buildings which should be interested as you like to travel to Svalbard.
Day Thirteen: Today is the last day of our expedition, we hope to have some chance to find some more foxes, we climbed the rock mountain and went more inside but stayed 3-4 hours still couldn’t find any fox but some reindeers, we did some shooting of the reindeers and back to the boat, around 10pm we arrived Longyearbyne.
Day Fourteen: Today is the last morning of the expedition in Svalbard, and the same flight in the afternoon by SAS, the third time been here makes me feel like home, after saying bye-bye to the partners of the group, Svein drove me to the airport, I told him I will come back again.