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Penguins, Antarctica

Photographic Departures

Polar Photographic Adventure Holidays

Top tips for picture-perfect photos

Do you know your camera?
Make sure you know how to use your camera well before your holiday. If you are buying it especially for the trip, take it out beforehand and practice until you know how to operate it without looking at the manual. You will then enjoy and capture those split-second wildlife moments.

Keep a respectful distance
It will be tempting to get close to penguins and seals for that frame-filling shot, but that can be stressful for the animals (and also breaks IAATO guidelines) so don’t do it! Bring a camera that has a decent zoom or telephoto lens on it so that you can keep your distance. Your subject is more likely to behave in a calm, natural way, giving you a photo to be proud of.

How’s your camera memory?
Good-quality images need space and you will end up taking many more pictures than you thought you would. Make sure you take plenty of memory cards. Most people also take portable hard-drives or laptops to give them extra storage capacity.

Invest in a tripod or monopod
Tripods can be cumbersome to lug around, but on Polar photographic tours you won’t be walking around for too long and will often be taking pictures from the comfort of the ship. They are a great way of preventing the blurry shots caused by camera shake, especially when taking pictures in strong winds or in close-up. Tripods are also very useful for keeping images sharp when your camera is on maximum zoom; polar bears don’t always walk up to the ship!

Expert help
The best way of improving your photographs is to get some training. Book yourself on to a photography course (even one- or two-day courses can help), or join one of our photographic charters to get expert tuition while ‘in the field’.

This was a fantastic trip from start to finish. We were blessed with calm seas and were lucky enough to see alot of wildlife including blue whale, reindeer, foxes, walrus, lots of gillmots, kitiwaks,and puffin and of course polar bears. The activities were very well organised and stress free and the service onboard was fantastic Would recommend to anyone interested in the polar regions.

Melanie Mclaren Spitsbergen Photography: In Search of Polar Bears

We had been looking for an Arctic or Antarctic holiday for a while, so when this Exodus deal came up, we jumped at the chance. Our hope was to see polar bears and arctic foxes, but we know that the animals are wild and unpredictable, so tried to set our expectations realistically. The trip was well planned and organised; we had time on arrival at the Helsinki airport hotel on Day 1 to get the train into the city for a half-day exploration. The next day we flew to Spitsbergen and then onto the boat. We were very pleasantly surprised by our cabin – much bigger than we had expected. The staff on board were excellent – both the Expedition team and the crew, the catering was wonderful and it was perfect having soft drinks available all day, with wine & beer served with dinner. Our wildlife expectations were more than met, sighting 2 different whale species on our first evening sailing from Longyearbyen! The highlights continued via the daily Zodiac trips and hiking onshore : reindeer, arctic foxes, walrus, whales, many seabirds and flowers – and of course, we saw polar bears. We know how lucky we were, but we saw 6 bears in 3 different locations, The Expedition team were all very knowledgeable about both flora and fauna and were happy to share information. But we should also stress that they were very safety-conscious and ensured all the guests were able to do the activities safely. We had such a good time, that we didn’t want to leave the ship to come home!

Mike Britton Spitsbergen Photography: In Search of Polar Bears