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Churchill's Polar Bears

Updated: Apr 20, 2022

Why a Wonder: The polar bear capital of the world.

Where: On Hudson Bay at the mouth of the Churchill River in Manitoba, Canada.

When: Throughout the year. October and November are ideal times because snow and ice produce a pleasing background for polar bear photographs.

Photography: Your best bet is to book on tour on a tundra buggy, sort of like an oversized (height, width, and depth) school bus that rides over the tundra looking for polar bears.

Curious polar bears often walk right up to a tundra buggy. Although photographs of the polar bears at close distances can fun, this type of photo can be taken in a zoo.

Bring a telephoto zoom in the 100-500mm range and try to capture the polar bears at a distance – the further the subject is from you, the more it will look as though you are photographing lower to the ground.

Tundra buggies are heated, but with temperatures well below freezing (it was minus 35 degrees Fahrenheit when these photos were taken), it can get cold when the windows are open for photography. Dress in layers and bring warm gloves and clothes.

Bring a lens-cleaning cloth to wipe off condensation that may build up on your lens when the windows are opened and closed.

White subjects can fool a camera’s exposure meter into thinking a scene is brighter than it is, resulting in an underexposed image. When you frame is filled with a white polar bear against a snow/ice background, start with and EV setting of -1.

© Rick Sammon

This post sponsored by Delkin Devices.

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