Views of the Arctic

Lorna Griggs

10 Oct 2017

RUSS & Shannon's FOOTAGE from our 2017 Svalbard Photography Safari

Svalbard is the most incredible place I’ve ever had the privilege of travelling to. I landed in Longyearbyen in July 2016 determined to come away with incredible photographs of bears on ice, to test my GoPro and my extremely limited video editing skills and show the world how incredible this part of the world really is.

I class myself as an enthusiastically mediocre photographer and an absolute novice with a video camera; thankfully on this occasion I was joining a trip with National Geographic and Disney Nature photographers and videographers Russ and Shannon! Our first bear encounter came on day 3, with a curious bear not far from us on the ice. Like the rest of the group, I frantically snapped away, clicking furiously in an attempt to come away with the shot I was after. Shannon and Russ stood quietly on the deck, one poised with a video camera, one with an SLR, and they very calmly captured the bear in all his glory.

Our second encounter came after some tips from the pair, and resulted in me significantly slowing down my shooting speed in an effort to do each photo justice. While my video attempts didn’t come to much, and my photos would have struggled to gain even a ‘highly commended’, Russ and Shannon carefully captured the entire trip in such beautiful fashion that it left even those of us who were there quite literally speechless. I still get emotional watching the footage from that July 2016 trip, so when Shannon and Russ returned to Svalbard this summer, I eagerly awaited the results of their hard work. I was overwhelmed when we received this video, and sat down to watch on a big screen, with the volume turned right up! This vast wilderness captured on film, and beautifully summed up in just over 2 minutes, made my longing to return to Svalbard that much greater.

You can read more about Shannon Wild and Russ MacLaughlin here, as well as reading more about our Expedition Leaders. Shannon showcases her incredible wildlife photography on her amazing Instagram account @Shannon__Wild, Russ is also a well-known Instagrammer and shows off his exceptional video work under the username of @russ_wildlife.


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