Author Topic: Svalbard  (Read 13219 times)

elsa hoffmann

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    • Elsa Hoffmann
Svalbard
« on: June 10, 2015, 14:08:48 »
I am seriously - VERY seriously considering a trip to Svalbard - 2016
SO much to consider - mostly - who to go with .....
There are several "tours" for photographers but obviously they dont come cheap.

So I am really testing the waters to see if anyone else has Svalbard in mind?
"You don’t take a photograph – you make it” – Ansel Adams. Thats why I use photoshop.
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Jan Anne

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Re: Svalbard
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2015, 15:13:08 »
Svalbard is on the list of places to visit but so are many other places, and I definitely want to buy a serious tele lens again to shoot the polar bears.

The main priority currently is buying a new house however in the coming 6 months so I expect travel / gear resources to be on the low side in 2016.
Cheers,
Jan Anne

elsa hoffmann

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Re: Svalbard
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2015, 15:21:56 »
You are right of course - But I am still on a fact finding mission - and if anyone is interested - I can post info here

If there is another (better???) option for something spectacular - do share :)

With the exchange rate I might only make it in 2017!

"You don’t take a photograph – you make it” – Ansel Adams. Thats why I use photoshop.
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www.elsa.co.za. www.intimateimages.co.za

Chris Wahl

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Re: Svalbard
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2015, 17:53:00 »
Svalbard is on my list for quite a while as well so all infos are highly appreciated. From the finances 2017 might be more realistic than 2016 for me as well...

Bjørn Rørslett

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Re: Svalbard
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2015, 17:56:07 »
Svalbard is attractive, but travelling around is severely limited because there are hardly any roads. Most visiters opt to go around the archepelago by ship. There are cruises as well, but not targetted for photographers. Travel agents might be able to inform of the options.

You are obliged to carry a rifle whenever onshore due to the very real threat of being the victim of a hungry polar bear. People are killed by polar bears almost every year.

Chris Wahl

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Re: Svalbard
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2015, 18:00:34 »
When I searched the net I found a couple of ship cruises targeted for photographers but they were incredibly expensive ... especially if you have to pay the "single penalty" it is way beyond my financial possibilities ....

elsa hoffmann

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Re: Svalbard
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2015, 21:10:04 »
I have done a LOT of reading and searching so far - and I am sure there is still plenty more to read. And plenty time needed to save - if 

Trips for photographers specifically is available - but as said - hellishly expensive. BUT It would be a trip of a life time

Peculiar that most of the photographer trips I found, are run by South Africa based Tour groups - by photographers themselves

One has to be careful not to join a boat like Akademik Sergey Vavilov (ONE OCEAN) - it appears you join the whole bloody ship and the tour leader (a photographer from SA) books only some spots, (eg 10) and one zodiac is allocated to that group specifically. They kind of give extra attention to the photographers, but not so much that you would notice

Prices range from here to eternity on these trips. 

However  - there are tours that are photo specific, see attachment for an example of what is on offer. Its just one of the tours so you can see how it works.

so you basically go on a boat trip. Why not book our own boat - no need to pay for the tour group photographers trip and plane ticket?? We have one another !

then there is JOshua Holko - which I think chased bears (POLAR variety) in a big way and I would kill to go with him
http://blog.jholko.com/2015/04/14/polar-bears-of-svalbard-expedition-2016-limited-places-only/

I know 2 people who have done trips in the past year with different operators - and will get full info from them too, and share when available.
ORYX  is NOT recommended (thats the one you join the rest of the world on one ship)



"You don’t take a photograph – you make it” – Ansel Adams. Thats why I use photoshop.
www.phototourscapetown.com
www.elsa.co.za. www.intimateimages.co.za

Chris Wahl

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Re: Svalbard
« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2015, 22:45:59 »
I would love to go there and Joshua Holko's blog doesn't make it any better ... great images there ...

I can not really come up with more information since I don't know anybody who could share his experience with me. The trips I am aware of are more or less like the one you attached to your post.

Don't know about booking a boat on our own ... I guess at least a guide would be needed and I am not sure whether boats suitable for such a trip are easily booked for a small group of people. Have you got any information on that? We certainly don't need other photographers but not sure how to set that up. Great would that be anyway :)

Looking forward to more information and I am seriously interested!

Cheers,
Chris


Bjørn Rørslett

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Re: Svalbard
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2015, 22:49:53 »
Lofoten or other parts of Arctic Norway would be easier to access and much less expensive as well. Lots of people would be happy to assist or guide you.

Chris Wahl

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Re: Svalbard
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2015, 23:03:01 »
are there polar bears? Or only fierce bears?

:)

Bjørn Rørslett

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Re: Svalbard
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2015, 23:04:10 »
No polar bears on mainland Norway. Just a managable number of fierce bears  :D

Chris Wahl

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Re: Svalbard
« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2015, 23:07:01 »
We need to get you a costume then :)

elsa hoffmann

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Re: Svalbard
« Reply #12 on: June 11, 2015, 06:52:40 »
While I think the fierce bear might work as a single polar bear - it simply wont do. He is one - I need many polar Bears :)

For me personally - a huge part of the trip is to see the polar bears. Hence Joshua's trip being the ultimate (and totally unaffordable)

The thing about this trip is that is will be a once in a life time experience. For all other trips I wouldn't mind the rest of Norway at all! In fact Lofoten is also on my list to visit at some point.

Polar bears are becoming less easy to see and shoot every year. I need to do that thing. Perhaps I also win the Lotto.
"You don’t take a photograph – you make it” – Ansel Adams. Thats why I use photoshop.
www.phototourscapetown.com
www.elsa.co.za. www.intimateimages.co.za

Bjørn J

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Re: Svalbard
« Reply #13 on: June 11, 2015, 16:06:28 »
I have been to Svalbard a few times, but that's many years ago. I visited Barentsburg and Ny Ålesund, but didn't see any polar bears. Only a not-so-exciting reindeer :) . What i remember most is the long walk inside a coal mine, all the way to the bench where they take out the coal. As a claustrophobic, that was a scary experience inside the 150cm height mine.
A trip to Svalbard certainly will be a trip of a lifetime. I think you can attend guided tours on small ships, with maybe 10-12 people on board, and I think the tours are specially designed for photographers. There is no guarantee you will see polar bears, but the guides know where there are greatest chance of seeing them.
If you instead wish to see the Lofoten islands, I'll be happy to show you around! Look at www.lofotenimages.com :)
Bjørn Jørgensen

elsa hoffmann

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Re: Svalbard
« Reply #14 on: June 12, 2015, 16:49:44 »
Bjørn, The more I look - the more I get worried I wont be seeing Polar Bears either.
I get the feeling, that unless you are lucky - or go with Joshua, they will be far away anyway. And the 800mm is not on the shopping list just yet.
That means I have to settle for the rest of Norway - on the plus side - I will see you guys hopefully.
Your photos are really lovely - I actually came across some of them when I was researching Norway.
I do see they span over seasons - and I will only be there during summer (I assume) so I will miss out on some opportunities.
Unless I find a nice young rich man that can cook - I will have to come home before winter. 
"You don’t take a photograph – you make it” – Ansel Adams. Thats why I use photoshop.
www.phototourscapetown.com
www.elsa.co.za. www.intimateimages.co.za