Polar Bear Blog

Polar bear lodges, photo leaders ready for October/November polar bear watching safaris

Prime polar bear watching season has arrived and our first group of guests is already settled in at Seal River Heritage Lodge for the first departure of the Fall Dual Lodge Safari. We’ve actually been out walking with polar bears on the Hudson Bay coast since July, but many equate the frosty, snowy months of October and November with prime polar bear watching season. And who doesn’t love to see polar bears in the snow!

Polar bear emerges from snow squall at Dymond Lake Ecolodge. Robert Postma photo.
Polar bear emerges from snow squall at Dymond Lake Ecolodge. Robert Postma photo.

We certainly enjoy it, as do our guests, who have already been out to see a mom and cub walking along Hudson Bay just outside the door of Seal River Heritage Lodge. And it will only get busier from now until our final Polar Bear Photo Safari departure on November 14.

Fall is a busy season for Churchill Wild, as it is the only time of the year that all three of our polar bear lodges are open at the same time. The Fall Dual Lodge Safari kicks off the late fall/early winter season at Seal River Heritage Lodge and Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge with two departures starting on October 13 and running through October 27.

Polar bear enjoying light snowfall at Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge. George Turner photo.
Polar bear enjoying light snowfall at Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge. George Turner photo.

The Polar Bear Photo Safari at Seal River Heritage Lodge has seven departures beginning on October 21 and finishing on November 20. The Polar Bear Photo Safari at Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge begins on October 25 and runs through November 18 with six departures. And the Great Ice Bear Adventure at Dymond Lake Ecolodge commences on October 23 and runs through November 16 with seven departures.

Whew! That’s a lot of guests and camera gear flying from Churchill to the lodges and back in the snow! And let’s not forget about the photo leaders! Robert Postma, George Turner, Nate Luebbe and Charles Glatzer will all be leading trips for Churchill Wild this fall.

Polar bear in blue light. Seal River Heritage Lodge. Robert Postma photo.
Polar bear in blue light. Seal River Heritage Lodge. Robert Postma photo.

Robert Postma will be leading the second departure of the Fall Dual Lodge Safari, as well as two Polar Bear Photo Safaris at Nanuk and two departures of the Great Ice Bear Adventure. Robert has traveled the world as a photographer, but he still considers Churchill and the Hudson Bay area to be one of his favourite destinations for photography. Roberts photos have been published in calendars, books, travel guides and magazines and have won numerous awards. And one of Robert’s photos was selected this year to be part of a collection of Canadian bear stamps!

Robert travels the globe with hopes of finding and capturing the indescribable moments that nature provides and there is nothing he enjoys more than standing in front of an approaching storm or beneath a blanket of northern lights. Or photographing polar bears in a blizzard!

A frequent visitor to the Churchill Wild lodges since 2010 and a photo leader with Churchill Wild since 2014, Robert is well acquainted with our unique wildlife and landscapes. The knowledge and experience he has amassed over the years make him a valuable addition to any group. Robert’s relaxed and friendly teaching style will put you at ease and give you the confidence to go after those once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunities.

Nose to nose on the Polar Bear Safari at Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge. George Turner photo.
Nose to nose on the Polar Bear Safari at Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge. George Turner photo.

George Turner will be leading a Polar Bear Photo Safari at Seal River Heritage Lodge and two more at Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge. George lives and breathes wildlife photography. His obsession with the natural world is anchored in his rural upbringing, which was filled with hedgehogs, badgers, otters and other assorted creatures. His burning desire to photograph nature and wildlife have since taken him to some of the Earth’s most stunning wilderness locations. George’s images have been published in a broad spectrum of publications, and he has received a large number of awards and industry recognition.

George always relishes the chance to lead fellow photographers in the field, assisting them in creating ‘the’ shot. His patient, relaxed approach to photography ensures participants feel at ease, fully soaking up the amazing moments surrounding them.

George’s meticulous approach to capturing moments in time involves extensive research on destinations and species and planning for his most desired shots. He’s energetic, innovative, and imaginative and he will be on-site to provide photographic instruction both in the field and back at the lodge during small group post-processing sessions and classroom-style training.

Polar bear outside the compound. Polar Bear Photo Safari. Seal River Heritage Lodge. Nate Luebbe photo.
Polar bear outside the compound. Polar Bear Photo Safari. Seal River Heritage Lodge. Nate Luebbe photo.

Nate Luebbe will be the photo leader on the Polar Bear Photo Safari at Nanuk from November 3-9. Based in Seattle, the self-taught photographer and lifelong explorer of the outdoors is an avid environmentalist, conservationist, and raconteur of experiences. Nate’s passion for photography started as a way to catalogue all his outdoor experiences and to live in the moment. He describes standing on a summit watching the sun fade beyond the horizon while the stars slowly emerge from the inky blackness, as an all-consuming incredible experience.

Taking those feelings and attempting to freeze them into a single still frame is an incredible challenge, something that truly motivates Nate to get out and experience the world. As an ambassador for the Sony Alpha Imaging Collective, Nate pushes the limits of Sony cameras and lenses to create dynamic and inspiring photographs and videos that reveal the spirit of adventure. Nate has photographed grizzlies in Alaska and Yellowstone Park, northern lights in Norway, and polar bears on the Hudson Bay coast. His portfolio also includes a stunning array of landscape and wilderness photos from around the world.

Mom and cubs on the move at Seal River. Polar Bear Photo Safari. Charles Glatzer photo.
Mom and cubs on the move at Seal River Heritage Lodge. Polar Bear Photo Safari. Charles Glatzer photo.

Canon Explorer of Light Charles “Chas” Glatzer will be leading an exclusive Arctic Photo Safari for his Shoot the Light clients from November 6-12 at Seal River Heritage Lodge. Chas’s work has been celebrated internationally with over 40 prestigious awards for superior photographic competence demonstrated through photographic competition, advanced education, and service to the profession. We also recently interviewed Chas about what to wear for cold weather wildlife photography.

Chas’s images are recognized internationally for their lighting, composition, and attention to detail and have appeared in many publications worldwide including National Geographic, Outdoor Photographer, Popular Photography, National Parks, Discover Diving, Smithsonian, Professional Photographer, Birder’s World, Birding, Nature Photographer, EOS, Digital PhotoPro and many more.

As an accomplished natural history and keynote speaker, Chas has presented at many prestigious events including Explorer’s Club NYC, Audubon, Sierra Club, Nature Conservancy, Fuji Professional, MidAtlantic Photo Expo, NANPA, ASMP, CNPA, GNPA, and PPA. In addition, as a Canon Explorer of Light, Chas is a member of a prestigious group comprised of the most influential photographers and cinematographers in the world.

Northern lights at Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge. Charles Glatzer photo.
Northern lights at Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge. Charles Glatzer photo.

The talent in our elite group of fall/winter photo leaders is multiplied by excellent guest and amateur photographers alike, many of whom can compete with the best in the world when it comes to capturing the essence of seascapes, landscapes, icescapes, northern lights, and the emotions and interactions of polar bears, wolves, moose, Arctic foxes and more, at ground level.

Young polar bear in fall colours. First snow at Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge. Nate Luebbe photo.
Young polar bear in fall colours. First snow at Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge. Nate Luebbe photo.

We always look forward to the exceptional photographs taken and shared during the traditional polar bear watching season in October and November. You never know what wildly precious moments nature will present you with. They can come from anywhere, at anytime, and they often do.

Especially, when the snow flies.

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