The Great Ice Bear Adventure begins in less than three weeks (one male share spot remaining Oct. 29 – Nov. 4), which means it’s time to get your cold-weather camera gear ready. And that includes smartphones!
The photos in the collage you see at the top of this post were taken last year by Canadian explorer, adventure photographer and social media influencer Dax Justin, while on assignment with Canadian Geographic at Dymond Lake Ecolodge for the Great Ice Bear Adventure.
“Those photos were all shot on my Samsung Galaxy Note8,” said Justin. “Samsung is at the Note9 and S9 now but the quality of the Note8 and up is unreal. We also got shots while out walking with the polar bears, but these were taken from inside the compound when we had a bear directly on the other side of the fence. I got pretty close and used a small zoom as well.
“I use smartphone lenses now for zoom. If people are ever looking for smartphone lenses they can use this link and score 10 percent off. NatGeo believes these are the best lenses on the planet for your smartphone and I agree!”
An award-winning photographer himself, Justin is now offering a Smartphone Pro Mobile-Photography Workshop on his website that gives you the tools and teaches you step-by-step how to capture, edit and produce professional-level photos from your smartphone while in the field.
Justin’s photos of semi-resident polar bear Scarbrow at Dymond Lake Ecolodge have proved to be extremely popular on the Web and were certainly among the most liked photos on the @churchillwildsafaris Instagram profile.
“Scarbrow is a badass Canadian celebrity and is kind of a big deal,” wrote Justin in Meeting Polar Bears Face-to-Face with Canadian Geographic. “He’s won the hearts of thousands. He has even been in the slammer a couple times… You don’t get anywhere in life without tipping over a few garbage cans!”
“I’d been to the Churchill Wild website before I went there,” said Justin in Frost on the Eyelids. Canadian Explorer Dax Justin walks with polar bears on the Hudson Bay coast. “I knew it was a safari on the ice with bears, but I didn’t really get it. Then we’re flying in and we can see bears below us. We’re about to land on the gravel runway and these two polar bears are sparring and we’re thinking, we’re going to walk to the lodge with those two polar bears right there? But then you’re on the ground with the bears and that’s exactly what you’re doing. We were instantly blown away.”
We can’t guarantee that Scarbrow will show up on this year’s Great Ice Bear Adventure, but he has been a regular visitor at Dymond Lake Ecolodge for many years.
“It was bear-mazing last year,” said Director of Lodge Operations Nolan Booth, who also doubles as the manager at Dymond Lake Ecolodge during the Great Ice Bear Adventure. “It was one of our best wildlife years in my 10 years of operating the lodge. Lots of polar bears, the odd moose, Arctic fox and red fox. And we do occasionally see a wolverine. Last year we found tracks but we didn’t see one. They can be pretty elusive. Scarbrow was there though, entertaining guests with his antics. He’s probably been there for six or seven of the past nine years.”
If you’re reading this Scarbrow, please stay out of Polar Bear Jail during the Great Ice Bear Adventure. We’d love to have you back.
And the guests want to meet you.