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Posts Tagged ‘Claire Wilson’

Churchill Wild 2010 Photo Contest Winners

Best Polar Bear Photo – 1rst Place

Best Polar Bear Photo 2010 Churchill Wild Photo Contest - Photo by Allan Gold

Freshly done nails… Photo by Allan Gold

The Churchill Wild 2010 Photo Contest has officially come to a close. Guests from all of our adventures submitted their favorite photos and it was great to see all those magical moments again!

We saw polar bears wandering the icy coast line, lazily lounging on rocks and some even sparring.  Guests got up close and personal with polar bears and some enjoyed an awesome display of northern lights.

No matter what the photo, each submission was good for one reason or another, which made this an extremely tough job for our judge.  We do like to keep him on his toes!  Dennis Fast was in charge of judging the contest this year and he has done a great job. It was very tough naming just one first prize winner for each category.

Please watch for all submissions to be posted on the Churchill Wild Web site next week. Without further adieu we announce the winners of this year’s photo contest.

Best Polar Bear Photo – 2nd Place

Best Polar Bear Photo 2nd Place Rudolf Hug

I can make your heart beat faster… Photo by Rudolf Hug

Best Other Arctic Wildlife Photo – 1st Place

Arctic Wildlife Photo Other Winner Sean Crane

Breakfast on the rocks… Photo by Sean Crane

Best Other Arctic Wildlife Photo – 2nd Place

Arctic Ground Squirrel Photo

Cheeky… Photo by Robert Postma

Best Arctic Landscape Photo – 1st Place

Polar Bear Walking on Tundra - Best Arctic Landscape Photo by Jessica Ellis

Solitary walk… Photo by Jessica Ellis

Best Arctic Landscape Photo – 2nd Place

Arctic Landscape Photo 2nd Place Howard Sheridan

On the prowl… Photo by Howard Sheridan

Best People Photo – 1st Place

Arctic People Photo Winner Photo by Robert Postma

Arctic romance… Photo by Robert Postma

Best People Photo – 2nd Place

Arctic People Photo 2nd Photo by Claire Wilson

Couples… inside and out… Photo by Claire Wilson

We tried to think of some fun taglines for the photos, but if you have some better ideas, please let us know. A heartfelt thank you to everyone who entered! And congratulations to the winners!

Churchill Wild guest Claire Wilson makes semi-finals in Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition

On the Rocks - Photo Credit: Claire Wilson

by Claire Wilson

We visited Seal River Heritage Lodge on Churchill Wild’s Great Ice Bear polar bear tour at the end of October 2009. I have always had a huge fascination with polar bears and was extremely excited about visiting the Seal River area in search of polar bears.  I tried not to get my expectations too high however, telling myself that we might only get a distant glimpse of a bear.

How wrong I was!

As soon as our plane touched down at Seal River, we could see several bears around us. Within an hour, there were two bears play-fighting a few feet from the front door of the lodge – amazing! I felt like I had died and gone to wildlife heaven!

We were lucky to get a mixture of conditions – the weather was dry and bright when we first arrived, but we then had plenty of snow and at one point the temperature cooled down to -27 degrees.

Polar bears wrestling near Seal River Lodge on Hudson Bay. Claire Wilson photo.

High and Mighty - Photo Credit: Claire Wilson

Our whole three days at the lodge were jam-packed with photo opportunities. Terry and Andy, our friendly and knowledgeable guides, were ready to take us out for hikes at any opportunity, and we saw plenty of bears every time we ventured outside.  Everyone learned a great deal about these majestic animals and their environment, and every day we all came back with full memory cards on our cameras. My husband Pete and I took about 3000 photographs between us!

Upon returning home, I was so proud of some of my photographs that I decided to send a few into the Wildlife Photographer of The Year competition, now in its 46th year and organized by The Natural History Museum, London and BBC Wildlife Magazine. This is a huge competition which has tens of thousands of entries from all over the world every year. Last year there were over 43,000 entries, and apparently there were well in excess of this amount for 2010.

I was absolutely stunned when I recently received an e-mail advising me that three of my entries had made it into the semi finals!

One photograph entitled “High and Mighty” (Semi-Finalist in the Category Animal Behaviour: Mammals) was taken on our first full day at Seal River when we went for a long group hike. The two bears seemed to want to perform for the cameras!

Polar bear photo Clash of the Titans taken by Claire Wilson at Seal River near Churchill, Manitoba on Hudson Bay while on Churchill Wild's Great Ice Bear Tour.

Clash of the Titans - Photo Credit: Claire Wilson

I shot “On The Rocks” (Semi-Finalist for the Gerald Durrell Award for Endangered Wildlife) the next day, literally feet from the lodge. And the third photograph I submitted, “Clash of the Titans” (also a Semi-Finalist in the Category Animal Behaviour: Mammals) was taken on our last morning at Seal River Heritage Lodge just a few minutes before we had too, reluctantly, leave this wonderful location.

We had such a great time with Churchill Wild! I can’t wait to return for our next adventure!