Polar Bear Blog

NatGeo Creative photographer Jad Davenport to lead Hudson Bay Odyssey polar bear photography workshops

Award-winning National Geographic Creative photographer Jad Davenport.
Award-winning National Geographic Creative photographer Jad Davenport.

Award-winning National Geographic photographer and writer Jad Davenport  will lead two exclusive in-field photography workshops on the Hudson Bay Odyssey at Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge this fall from August 27-September 2 and August 31-September 6.

And you can join him!

Whether you’re a novice or passionate amateur, these workshops will teach you how to visually capture your once-in-a-lifetime Arctic adventure with Churchill Wild.

Your learning takes place real-time, in the field, not from lectures. During your four-day field workshop, you’ll shoot side-by-side with Jad on your daily excursions surrounding Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge.

And no matter what your gear, an iPhone or the latest and most expensive DSLR, Jad will show you have to make the most out of your equipment. Jad is emphatically not a gear head — ask him what the best camera to shoot with is and you’ll likely hear “the one you have with you.”

Jad will take photographers far beyond the hunt for that iconic polar bear shot and help you learn how to capture the full experience of your journey. Rather than getting bogged down in technical talk about F-stops and shutter speeds, Jad focuses on things like the secret to finding the “moment”; how to capture a full palette of color on assignment; and why detail shots are the most important (and easiest to make) photographs in any story, but are often the most overlooked.

Polar bears sparring. Jad Davenport photo.
Polar bears sparring. Jad Davenport photo.

And in an environment as stunning, but also as challenging and unpredictable as the shores of Hudson Bay, Jad will turn your thinking about bad weather on end. He’ll have you talking about Hollywood light, shooting blue hour pictures and hoping for a storm.

Jad’s lifetime of experiences and mishaps around the world, paired with his relaxed and enthusiastic approach to storytelling, will inspire you to tell your own story and bring back great images for a coffee table book or that wall above your fireplace.

Beyond the images you capture, you’ll also come away from this unique experience with a new eye for light, and a deeper appreciation for the art and joy of storytelling, something that will stick with you on your next far flung adventure or personal photographic project in your own hometown.

Northern lights over Nanuk. Jad Davenport photo.
Northern lights over Nanuk. Jad Davenport photo.

Jad is an award winning photographer, author and filmmaker represented by National Geographic. He specializes in covering endangered places, wildlife and cultures. As a pioneer in digital storytelling, he was the very first photographer to shoot a digital cover and inside story for National Geographic Adventure Magazine (on the gray whale migration off Baja).

Currently a full-time travel photographer and writer with an open assignment with National Geographic Creative, Jad works hard to capture the essence of an experience. His work has garnered no less than four Lowell Thomas Awards, the most respected US awards in the field, and a Northern Lights Award, Canada’s highest travel writing and photography honor.

Jad’s stories and photographs appear in many of the world’s elite publications including National Geographic magazines and books, Outside, Audubon, Smithsonian, Coastal Living and Islands. Recently, his iconic Blue Hole photograph of the Belize Barrier Reef was included in a National Geographic exhibit in Rome, and now hangs in the National Museum.

Jad began his 30-year career straight out of high school as a freelance war correspondent. He honed his craft over the next 10 years covering more than a dozen conflicts from the genocide in Cambodia to the siege of Sarajevo, before ultimately deciding to focus on the beauty of the world.

Polar bear in the willows at Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge. Jad Davenport photo.
Polar bear in the willows at Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge. Jad Davenport photo.

A member of The Explorers Club, Jad has worked in over 160 countries and in some of the wildest places on earth. Assignments have taken him to both the high Arctic and Antarctic, to the top of one of the Seven Summits and nearly a thousand feet deep into the Caribbean Sea. He’s photographed mountain gorillas in the Congo war zone, captured life on the remote Pitcairn Island, home of the last of the Bounty mutineer descendants, and of course, the polar bears of Churchill Wild.

Jad is a very relaxed, but passionate instructor, focused much more on how to create a story and capture emotion than on the technical details (though he’s happy to get as technical as guests like). He specializes in the art of creating photos that take you back to the time and place you experienced, and works with fellow guests to create full stories of their once-in-a-lifetime journey.

Because he is also one of the rare writer, photographer, filmmakers with National Geographic Creative, Jad is also very willing to work with guests on how to capture their experiences in words or video.

Both Jad and our guests are really going to love this!

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