Polar Bear Blog

Award-winning National Geographic photographer Jad Davenport to lead exclusive 2016 photography workshops at Seal River Heritage Lodge

Polar bear relaxing near Seal River Heritage Lodge. Photo courtesy of Jad Davenport.
Polar bear relaxing near Seal River Heritage Lodge. Photo courtesy of Jad Davenport.

Churchill Wild is pleased to announce that award-winning National Geographic photographer, author and filmmaker Jad Davenport will lead two exclusive photography workshops in 2016 at Seal River Heritage Lodge, which was recently named a member of National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World.

This will be the third year in a row that Jad has led photography workshops at Churchill Wild’s remote polar bear lodges on the Hudson Bay coast. In 2015 he led the Hudson Bay Odyssey at Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge and in 2014 Jad led the first Polar Bear Photo Safari of the season at Seal River Heritage Lodge.

An exceptional talent, we’re excited to have Jad back as a professional photo leader! In 2016 he will lead the first two departures of Birds, Bears and Belugas from July 11-18 and from July 16-23.

For more information on these exclusive Arctic Photography Workshops please call Toll Free: 1.866.UGO.WILD (1.866.846.9453) or email [email protected].

Workshop Details

Jad will teach you how to capture your once-in-a-lifetime arctic adventures, whether you’re shooting with an iPhone or the latest Nikon DSLR. Your five-day workshop consists of daily excursions along the coastline surrounding the lodge, a diverse subarctic ecosystem which is home to a wide range of wildlife from polar bears and beluga whales to caribou and sandhill cranes.

During your hikes and on zodiac explorations, Jad will offer real-time tips and advice to fit the ever-changing wildlife and weather conditions, and work with you one-on-one to help you focus on your own photographic interests.

Jad’s teaching style is relaxed and far less about the technical intricacies of cameras and lenses and more about the visual elements that make a great story. You’ll learn all about what makes a powerful image. Jad focuses on things like finding color and catching moments, and how to achieve new perspectives through simple and surprising field techniques. He’ll help you understand and appreciate the beauty of many different light situations from open-shade to the fabled blue hour, so that, regardless of weather, you’ll always be able to photograph.

You will return home not only with the best wildlife images you can make, but also with your own personal travel story. Jad will work with you to capture your encounters with polar bears and beluga whales, but also teach you how to capture your complete your journey – everything from detail shots of the delicious wild goose and wine dishes to portraits of your fellow adventurers.

The best images from your safari will be collected and made available to everyone after your trip. Jad’s insider tips from three decades as a working photojournalist will ensure that you return with images that capture the essence of the surreal moments you’ll experience. And beyond your safari with Churchill Wild, the field skills and insights you acquire will provide enduring value as you continue to explore and photograph the most distant corners of the world – or even your own hometown.

Jad Davenport
Jad Davenport

About Jad Davenport

Jad began his 30-year career in photojournalism as a documentary photographer, developing his talent for visual storytelling while covering more than a dozen wars. He is a full-time travel photographer and writer on open assignment with National Geographic Creative and his knack for capturing the essence of an experience has defined his career. Jad’s work has garnered no less than four Lowell Thomas Awards – the most respected awards in the field.

Jad’s stories have appeared in many of the world’s elite publications including Newsweek, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Men’s Journal, Audubon, Sierra, Coastal Living, and many more [his work for Smithsonian was online video, photography and writing – not in their galleries].

Jad has worked in over 160 countries in some of the wildest places on Earth; from photographing the mountain gorillas in the Congo war zone, to the black pearl farms in Tahiti, and of course, the polar bears of Churchill Wild. He specializes in the art of capturing images that take you back to the time and place and elicit the emotions which make an experience profound.

Jad provided the first digital cover and inside story for National Geographic Adventure Magazine, and he is adept at using many of the digital tools now available for the modern traveler who is not always able to carry the latest and greatest photographic lenses and equipment. Jad can show you how to capture your journey into the Arctic like never before, whether you’re working with an iPhone, a point-and-shoot camera or professional camera bodies and telephoto lenses with all the bells and whistles.

His focus on the subject, the mood and the composition of an experience make the art of photojournalism accessible to all, regardless of your present level of photographic sophistication. Jad is also well-versed in the storytelling techniques required to produce captivating 2-3 minute video shorts, whether on your smart phone or with the latest technology in motion pictures.

“While photographing predators on assignment in the vast Okavanga Delta in Botswana, I found myself on a tour boat with a newlywed couple,” said Jad. “My mind was consumed with capturing images of lions and leopards and the wilderness, but I realized that I didn’t have any pictures that spoke of the romance that African safaris hold for all of us – whether a tourist or a photographer on assignment.”

“There are certain people skills I learned that help me build a casual portrait so that it captures not just people, but their emotional connection with an environment. With once-in-a-lifetime journeys, I find that the daily experiences are often overshadowed by our desire to get that one ‘iconic National Geographic shot’ whether it’s the polar bear or the Mount Everest.

“I was on assignment in Botswana photographing wild dogs, the most endangered carnivores in the world. At dusk my driver and guide stopped on the Makadikadi Pans, a vast desert, to consult the map. I lay down on the warm earth and made a picture of the moment. It’s one of my favorites – it has everything we look for in a National Geographic image – gorgeous light, dramatic color, great composition, and a moment.”

To view more of Jad’s work please visit his web site at jaddavenport.com

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