Meet Our Experts l Chase Teron – Photographer, Teacher & Environmentalist
‘Hi, I’m Chase and I am a photographer, environmentalist, and teacher from Vancouver Island, Canada. My passion is for photography is inspired by environmental and conversation issues. Through my career, I have developed extensive experience photographing in the Arctic in Svalbard and Greenland and helping others to improve their photography skills in the field. My work has been featured in National Geographic and Canadian Geographic.
I look forward to welcoming you on one of our photography expeditions where I will teach you the art of Arctic photography.
An Interview with Chase Teron
1. Please introduce yourself
My name is Chase Teron, I’m a professional wildlife and nature photographer from Vancouver Island, Canada.
2. How did you get into photography?
I got into photography through my love of art, nature, wildlife, and adventure. Prior to becoming a photographer, I was an artist producing oil and acrylic paintings of wildlife and landscapes. I also was an obsessive backcountry hiker and traveler so photography was a natural extension of everything I enjoyed doing. Photography was the ultimate form of artistic expression for me as I was able to be out of the house, fully immersed in nature on adventures or traveling all corners of the earth creating art. For nearly a decade I have become obsessed with the craft of photography and learning everything there is to know about artistic theory in the field and in post-processing.
3. What drew you to the Arctic as a photographer?
For me, my first Arctic love was Greenland. It felt so drawn to go to this seemingly untouched place, that hardly anyone had ventured to. Greenland’s Arctic has some of the world’s most inspiring landscapes and precious wildlife and of course little to no people around. The Arctic was the first place that gave my photography true meaning. I felt like for the first time ever, I was using my camera how it was meant to be used. To take inspiring photographs of places being affected by climate change each and every day. To show the world, in real time, the climate crisis. If more people could see my photographs and to see the devastating demise of the glaciers then maybe I could change people’s way of doing things to be more conscious in their day to day lives. As a photographer, the Arctic presents ever-changing landscapes that cannot be replicated nor re-produced, this made my photography finally feel like actual art instead of just another photo of a beautiful national park elsewhere.
We would see icebergs completely transform in front of our eyes and these abstract.formations were so fascinating to me. Then as I ventured to Svalbard for the first time, the Arctic wildlife inspired me so much so, that I transitioned into a wildlife and nature photographer rather than a landscape and adventure photographer. Because the Arctic Is sparsely populated and the wildlife is so remote, the land, the sea, and the animals need a voice and I want to be that voice. Even if people deny climate change, what would be so bad about making our world a more environmentally conscious place? To have cleaner oceans where our sea life can thrive instead of eat our garbage? To let the animals thrive and to reduce our interference? These are the type of things that I think about when I think about why I love the Arctic. As a photographer, the Arctic is a remote paradise full of some of the world’s most interesting natural wonders.
4. What is your passion as a photographer?
As a photographer, my passion is to capture unique moments that showcase an animal’s unique physical characteristics and abilities. I find it fascinating to document environmental adaptations and to see how these animals can thrive in remote locations. Additionally, I love to capture landscapes as it showcases the habitats of these animals that we need to protect.
5. What do you like about Svalbard?
What I love about Svalbard is seeing Polar Bears and the other Arctic wildlife thrive in the dramatic and harsh landscapes. The backdrops of mountains, glaciers, fjords, and icebergs while photographing a subject like a Polar Bear is truly the ultimate setting. Svalbard is one of those places that keeps calling you back because each time it’s so very different. This location is so inspiring to me and it is the very location that transitioned my entire photography career.
6. Why is a small expedition vessel the best way to visit Svalbard as a photographer?
Traveling to Svalbard on a small vessel is the only way to do it if you ask me. A small group of people with expert guides is the best combination for your complete enjoyment for an Arctic expedition. You are able to learn directly from a guide about the wildlife and landscapes and then get hands-on help from the professional photographer instructor onboard. Personally, I do not join large ship expeditions as it doesn’t provide you with a 1/10th of the experience as to when compared to small ships. While on photography expeditions in Svalbard, your group needs to be agile and to be able to get on the zodiacs in an efficient and quick manner in order to capture the best wildlife situations. With a small ship, you have better opportunity to make new friendships very quickly. Often we have clients who are strangers on one small ship group who then travel together as friends in a different location with us.
7. Why is it important to protect the Arctic?
It’s so imperative to protect the Arctic because it’s our earth’s lifeblood. It keeps our entire planet’s climate in a balanced cycle. With global warming happening, the Arctic’s ice is melting faster than ever and with that our oceans are rising and the earth’s main reflector of light is diminishing therefore leading to extremes in temperatures and weather activity across the globe. Ocean waters are not only rising but also increasing in temperature, therefore, threatening the very conditions that are needed for our aquatic life to exist. Of course, there are other issues as well including the melting of permafrost and unpredictable weather for Arctic residents, the Polar Bear’s sea ice habitat loss threatening their ability to hunt and therefore thrive and survive. It’s a sparsely populated region of the planet and with that, there’s a lack of responsibility, awareness, and governable protection.
With more visitors to the Arctic, we take on roles as Arctic ambassadors to showcase this fragile place to spread the ripple effect amongst family and friends to change habits that are harming the Arctic.
8. How can photography be used for conservation and help spread the message about the threats the Arctic faces?
As a conservation photographer, my role is to document both the beautiful landscapes and habitats in thriving states but also to showcase the forces causing environmental degradation. I use wildlife and landscape photography as my medium to bring people’s awareness to this special region to then hopefully make people fall in love with both the Arctic and the Arctic wildlife. When people love something or care so deeply about something, they will do everything in their power to protect it.
My goal is to spread my love and passion for the Arctic so that we can work together to combat these issues. The Arctic is threatened by so many issues including global warming and the loss of multi-year sea ice, ocean pollution & waste, mining and resource extraction, and habitat loss issues to name a few. As photographers, we have the most powerful tool in the world to share the rapidly changing state of the world’s most crucial region.
To spread the message to save the Arctic, you need to be educated on the threats, be involved in the online community, and to share your images and captions on relevant platforms on social media. Additionally, I donate my photographs to any cause where the Arctic is being threatened and to sign and share petitions to help bring politicians awareness to issues.
The photos featured on this page are used by the kind permission of © Chase Teron