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