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Mother and cub at 81.31 degrees north



Polar bear (Ursus maritimus)

This is one of several amazing moments this female and her cub shared with us, and here they are walking straight towa...
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Polar bear (Ursus maritimus)

This is one of several amazing moments this female and her cub shared with us, and here they are walking straight towards the boat I'm on to check it out, as their seal carcass was completely cleaned out and thus the hunt for new opportunities went up to the number one priority.

They evoke so many feelings in humans, and I am no exception, as I simply cannot help myself and say "aaaww" when I look at the cub in the image. But during the encounter my heart was filled with awe, amazement, love and admiration, as the cub and her mother are such incredible animals. The cub had a unique way of keeping the lower lip hanging, or drooping, and it just adds to the cuteness that is a cub. And that we humans simply love.

Cuteness aside, this cub has had an amazingly good start in life, as the mother has made it off Svalbard and onto the sea ice, where the food is during the summer months. Chances are that this cub one day is a fully grown specimen, capable of killing a human with just one hit of either of its paws!
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Awards

Contest Finalist in Picturing Other Species Photo Contest
Community Choice Award
Nikon D3300
Contest Finalist in Rule Of Thirds Photo Contest v4
Contest Finalist in Compositions 101 Photo Contest vol5
Contest Finalist in Covers Photo Contest Vol 45
Contest Finalist in Image Of The Month Photo Contest Vol 29
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Absolute Masterpiece
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Magnificent Capture
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Superb Composition
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Top ClassTM

Earth Day Every Day Photo ContestTop 10 class
Picturing Other Species Photo ContestTop 10 class
Anything Animals Photo ContestTop 10 class
Anything Animals Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1
Winter Wildlife Photo ContestTop 20 class
Winter Wildlife Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1
An Unforgettable Adventure Photo ContestTop 10 class
ViewBug Photography Awards 2018Top 10 class
ViewBug Photography Awards 2018Top 10 class week 2
ViewBug Photography Awards 2018Top 10 class week 1
Rule of Thirds Photo Contest vol5Top 10 class
Rule of Thirds Photo Contest vol5Top 10 class week 1
Colossal Wildlife Photo ContestTop 10 class
Colossal Wildlife Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1
Never Stop Exploring Photo ContestTop 10 class
Never Stop Exploring Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1
The Nature Lover Photo ContestTop 20 class
Bears Photo ContestTop 10 class
The Nature Lover Photo ContestTop 20 class week 2
Bears Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1
The Nature Lover Photo ContestTop 20 class week 1
World Photography Day Photo Contest 2018Top 10 class
World Photography Day Photo Contest 2018Top 10 class week 2
World Photography Day Photo Contest 2018Top 10 class week 1
Celebrating Nature Photo Contest Vol 4Top 30 class
Celebrating Nature Photo Contest Vol 4Top 10 class week 3
Celebrating Nature Photo Contest Vol 4Top 10 class week 2
Rule Of Thirds Photo Contest v4Top 20 class
Rule Of Thirds Photo Contest v4Top 20 class week 1
Celebrating Nature Photo Contest Vol 4Top 10 class week 1
Compositions 101 Photo Contest vol5Top 30 class
Wildlife Photo Contest 2018Top 10 class
Compositions 101 Photo Contest vol5Top 20 class week 1
Wildlife Photo Contest 2018Top 10 class week 1
Big Mammals Photo ContestTop 20 class
Big Mammals Photo ContestTop 20 class week 1
Everything Nature Photo ContestTop 10 class
Color White Photo ContestTop 10 class
Everything Nature Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1
Color White Photo ContestTop 20 class week 1
Animals In The Winter Photo ContestTop 10 class
Covers Photo Contest Vol 45Top 30 class
Covers Photo Contest Vol 45Top 20 class week 1
Animals In The Winter Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1
The Talent AwardsTop 30 class
Image Of The Month Photo Contest Vol 29Top 10 class
Image Of The Month Photo Contest Vol 29Top 10 class week 2
Image Of The Month Photo Contest Vol 29Top 10 class week 1

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10 Comments | Report
edandaniphone Premium
 
edandaniphone March 04, 2018
Wonderful.
Shamrocks71 PRO
 
Shamrocks71 March 04, 2018
Fantastic shot
davidparkhurst
 
davidparkhurst March 04, 2018
Very good
Arzhtatiana PRO
 
Arzhtatiana March 05, 2018
Nice capture!
randalpair PRO+
 
randalpair March 05, 2018
Reminds me of Darwin's description: "...nature red in tooth and claw .."
mdixon
 
mdixon March 10, 2018
Stunning
susanmcfarland
 
susanmcfarland April 09, 2018
Great shot
Alfredo_Jose PRO
 
Alfredo_Jose April 12, 2018
Stunning capture!
jodyschach
 
jodyschach May 15, 2018
Beautiful capture!
JM18Photography PRO+
 
JM18Photography August 02, 2018
Congratulations!

Behind The Lens

Location
We had been looking for the sea ice north of Svalbard for a long time, and we finally found it and his mother and cub at 81.31 degrees north. Much, much farther north than ever before.
Time
Shot 27 July 2016 13:16.
Lighting
Lighting was tough as it was either fog, bright sunlight or something in between, basically a whiteout condition, which also made it challenging finding these white mammals.
Equipment
Nikon D4s, Nikkor 500mm with 1.4 converter with 700 mm total on a Gitzo GT5542LS tripod and a WH-200 Wimberley Head
Inspiration
This was like so often in life pure luck and coincidence. We were all going down below to have lunch, but I lagged behind to get a last look around, suddenly they decided to walk towards the ship, which was amazing as this was a break from a long observation of them feeding off the seal carcass, running for it when the male wanted seconds, then back again when the male took a rest nearby. If I had been with the rest of the people down below, I would have missed the approach sequence and this lovely scene.
Editing
Reduced blacks, shadows and brightened midtones.
In my camera bag
Two houses (currently D4s and D850) Nikkor: 800mm, 24-70mm, 105mm, Formatt Hitech filters for landscape, fiber cloth, lots of spare batteries, head lamp, lots of memory cards, external hard disk, notebook, LensCoat raingear for all lenses and houses.
Feedback
Always be ready!!! Auto ISO and exposure compensation are good friends as you can focus on the subject whenever it decides to come along no matter how shifting the light conditions are. Shoot as your subject approaches or you are getting closer, as you might not get another opportunity. If the subject does come amazingly close, that is an added bonus.

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