Polar Bear Captured Swimming Majestically by a Photographer

Seattle-based photographer Paul Souders just won the "Animals in Their Environment" category of the annual Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition for his incredible shot of a polar bear immersed in water. We were relieved to find that the wildlife photographer had captured many more stunning photographs of the enormous, beautiful creatures swimming in their natural surroundings.

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Seattle-based photographer Paul Souders just won the “Animals in Their Environment” category of the annual Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition for his incredible shot of a polar bear immersed in water. We were relieved to find that the wildlife photographer had captured many more stunning photographs of the enormous, beautiful creatures swimming in their natural surroundings.

Polar bears swimming in Hudson Bay (near Winnipeg) are commonly taken from a distance, but Souders is able to go up close and catch the creatures from hitherto unseen perspectives. He admits that capturing his collection of photographs was tough. After hauling approximately 500 pounds of equipment and spending 12 to 14 hours a day, trying to identify a polar bear in the expanse of white glaciers was a difficult chore.

It was exhausting work, Souders adds, looking at the ice for hours in pursuit of that white on white form. Finding polar bears on the ice turns out to be incredibly impossible, at least without a helicopter and a huge number of money. I’ve never spent so much time and effort hunting for a topic before. During that period, I only spotted two polar bears, one of which rapidly fled under the pack ice.

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The photographer’s long, hard efforts have finally paid off. After diving behind a block of sea ice and popping her head through a hole, one polar bear in particular approached him. He remembered thinking he had a really amazing photo when she pushed her head up less than three feet from the camera. I didn’t have time to go through all of my digital files until I was on the train from Churchill to Winnipeg a week later.

When I observed the shape of her hiding beneath the water’s surface and staring back at me, I was utterly taken away. I quickly became into the mad traveler who showed everyone on the train his holiday snaps.

All images belong to Paul Souders.

 

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