Svalbard June 2016 - Client Images
15th July 2016

Svalbard is a wonderful place and this was my 10th trip there. As always I was on the M/S Stockholm, the best small ship in the Arctic, and re-united with my guide Adam Rheborg. Together we led a great trip, with 15 polar bears seen spread over 25 sightings (some of which were several hours long). It was a great great trip, everyone got on so well and they were a pleasure for us to spend time with. Rather than me just publishing a BLOG on my images (I will save that for FotoBuzz) I thought it would be cool if everyone sent a few favourite images for you all to see as the trip was about them and not me. So here you go, the class of June 2016!


So many magical Svalbard moments, so many thousands of photos...but my absolute favourite experience had to be when this polar bear looked me right in the eye for a heart-stopping, breath-taking moment.  Seeing walruses for the first time was pretty awesome too - I loved their unique and quirky looks and endlessly curious behaviour. The scenery certainly didn't disappoint either, I am a bit inconsistent about using my polariser so thanks to Andy for his "gentle encouragement" on polariser use and for a fabulous trip!


For me this photo represents the challenge of photographing walrus from a zodiac in choppy seas, whilst delivering an unusual angle where the incredible eye of the walrus with it's beautiful colouring draws one to the subject.

Seeing two blue whales on the final part of the voyage was an incredible bonus. The blue whale is not known for 'breaching' so there were hardly any opportunities to capture their tail. So capturing the tail in the sunlight with the water running off the tail was a real bonus.

We had spotted this bear in the distance in beautiful sunlight, seen it swim from an ice float, attempt to find a seal pup and then finally approach in a relaxed curious way us was very special. As it got closer it looked very beautiful in the sunlight.

Team Thailand

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A simple image of the female bear that visited us on numerous occasions not long after she awoke from a snooze nearby the Stockholm.

I have been fortunate enough to have seen many walruses before but this was the first time I had seen them in a sea of ice. The encounter was unexpected too as we were cruising in the zodiac around Leighbreen glacier when we came across a few of them.

As expected, the first part of our journey North to the pack ice was rough but thankfully it all calmed down during the next day. Luckily a zodiac cruise was planned in the afternoon around Hamilton Bay - the perfect tonic to get over the sea sickness.

Between 2am and 7pm, we saw our favourite female bear on five occasions that day. Her last visit that day was in full sunshine that casted some lovely shadows.

Walruses can be skittish. Cruising around the Arctic ocean in a zodiac can be rough. Combine the two together and the results can be a disaster if the aim is to take images of walruses in their natural environment. However, it's all worth it when you get a few in the frame.


I was thrilled to see two polar bears together. I had hoped to see them stand up to each other but one put a paw on the shoulder of the other as if to say “I’m bigger” and then they stood face to face as if to say “OK I know you now” and the smaller wandered off. This was a magical bit of behaviour and a real David Attenborough moment for me.

I had never seen a walrus before and had no idea they would come towards us in such numbers. They were so curious. They kept coming in waves - just like the choppy sea!

The icebergs were gorgeous with their different shapes and blues, I found them mesmerising. I loved being out on the water in and amongst them. This afternoon we were fortunate to have a lovely sky to frame them and reflect the colours in the water. It was like being in another world - which we were of course! Pure magic.


My take on a Fox's Glacier Mint bear pose! Our lovely lady who gave us so many special moments.

To see the behaviour of the walruses up close was fascinating - explained so well by Adam, of course!

A reminder of a beautiful evening at the Alkefjellet bird cliffs.


Going in the Zodiacs really added to the adventure. From a safe distance, and with a decent lens, we were able to get these close-up shots of a polar bear, on an iceberg, taking a nap having just finished eating a seal. You couldn't ask for more - though I did feel sorry for the seal!

The MS Stockholm is the ideal ship for this trip. She was able to get us right into the ice, and thanks to the experienced captain and vigilant crew we were able to find 15 different polar bears.  This totally surpassed my expectations.

ANDY - and what a beautiful ship she really is, the jewel of the Arctic!


Thanks for a wonderful trip that didn't waste a minute. Lots of great memories & pics.

I took this picture of 3 Kittiwakes in the middle of the night from the ship  as we were breaking through the ice. I think it makes quite an arty study & as all judges like - there are  3 of them !!

Seeing polar bears rear up like this is a tremendous sight & this one seems to me to be doing a Marcel Marceau impression !!

A fantastic hour spent just feet away from wonderful Walrus.



This is the bear that I came to call Agneta - corny I know but basically Awesome Breathtaking Bear Adventure - ABBA ! She was our travelling companion off and on for 3 days.  Polar Bear are predators make no mistake but in their quiet moments can give such wonderful intimate shots.

We didn't have oodles of sun lets be honest,  but with skies like these the atmosphere of the holiday was heightened. The scenery can make you believe you are at the end of the world.   I am so grateful for whole experience and going through my photos is seriously bringing tears to my eyes even if they are not brilliant.  Thank you Andy, Adam and the crew of the Stockholm.

Just a simple shot of a beautiful animal, what more can I say?

An awesome group

Trips are made by the people and the people on this trip were simply awesome. Both Adam and I really enjoyed leading them and creating opportunities to help them have a cool time. 

Come with us!!! We had a great trip and in late September 2017 we will be returning for a winter light special on the amazing M/S Stockholm. At this time of the year the light can be simply stunning, the first snows of Winter are coming and Svalbard looks at it's best again. It's a time for photographers and on our 10 day adventure we will pack your days with treats for your mind as well as your camera.

We have the best small ship in the Arctic, with a wonderful feel of a bygone age, plus one of the the most experienced Captains in these waters. He loves polar bears too. Couple that with two experienced guides, including the most experienced guide on Svalbard Adam Rheborg plus the photographic drive of Andy Rouse and you have a great adventure. 

Inspiring. Fun. Challenging. Rewarding.

Booking now, click here for the trip of a lifetime.


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