It’s challenging to picture polar bears having fun in a field of flowers because we typically see them in the background of a wintry Arctic setting. It seems that these enormous white bears like summertime activities as well! As part of his research into and documentation of the bears’ summertime habits, photographer Martin Gregus Jr. was able to catch these bears playing among fireweed.
Martin and his colleagues took intimate and unusual photos of polar bears as they camped in a remote area of the Canadian Arctic for 33 days. These images may provide a look into these animals’ less well-known summer lifestyles.
Martin told DeMilked, “The idea occurred to me when I saw my first polar bear with my father in the summer of 2015.” They were having fun and going about their daily lives. Their actions were unusual. When he chose to work on a project with his team in 2020, the notion finally came to fruition. He said, “It took a lot of labor, patience, and finance.” In the final ten days of this effort, his father joined him.
The photographer saw these magnificent creatures playing in the fireweed and taking naps in the lush meadows.
When he was about eight years old, Martin first became interested in photography and began accompanying his father on numerous picture shoots. His skill has been acknowledged in several photography contests all around the world. He received special recognition when he was 11 years old in the Natural History Museum’s “Wildlife Photographer of the Year” contest. In the National History Museum’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year (WPY) competition in 2021, he won the Rising Star Portfolio Award. His recently released documentary 33 Days Among Bears have received high praise.
This endeavor was exhilarating and adventurous because there were numerous difficulties.
Martin faced many difficulties while camping with these magnificent animals. According to Martin, cutting off from the outside world is challenging both physically and mentally. Storms and other environmental obstacles added to the mental and physical difficulties that made this project risky but exciting. The photographer claimed that while he wasn’t afraid of polar bears, he did feel seriously threatened by arctic storms.
For this project, the crew employed drones, GoPros, and underwater cameras while residing in a remote boat house for 33 days.
Martin quickly became accustomed to the environment and got close to the polar bears to take some close-up pictures.
These photos are beautiful but also show the threat of accelerating climate change.
With this effort, the photographer also brought attention to the issue of climate change. It is important to note that climate change contributes to the lengthening of polar summers. According to Martin, the greatest danger to bears is the unpredictable nature of the Arctic. The environment is still quite challenging for bears to survive in, even if they lose their heavy winter coat in the summer to acclimatize to the mild heat. Additionally, they become considerably less active and spend more time submerged.