Narwhal & Polar Bear

Free diving, ice camping, and wildlife photography in the Canadian High Arctic

If the Canadian High Arctic has a magical quality, you might expect to see a unicorn now and then. That’s why Big Animal Expeditions makes a second trip each year to this part of the world, because June is the best time to see narwhals. (If you had a tooth that was half the length of your body, people would no doubt travel great distances to take your picture, too.) Indeed, it’s a tusk, rather than a horn, that endows the male narwhal with an extra 8 feet of length. Speculation about these tusks goes on and on (breeding? fighting? showing off?), but nobody except the narwhals really knows what the tusks are for. However, we know what we use them for: to make great photographs. Swimming in pods of 10 to 20, the narwhals gather along the edges of ice floes waiting for the warming weather to crack the ice so they can go further inland. As they make their epic dives to reach the bottom for halibut, shrimp, and squid, we’ll slip quietly into the water to free-dive with them as they go about their narwhal business at the surface. We’ll also see a bowhead whale or two, and although we won’t be specifically seeking them out (that trip is April), polar bears are always a possibility, and make great subjects for your portfolio. As a travel adventurer, the arctic will move you in ways you’ve never imagined. As a photographer, you’ll be presented with 24 hours of daylight that varies in color and mood as much as anything you’ve ever seen. With Amos and a team of Inuit guides as your hosts into this wildlife wonderland, your new prowess as a photographer will make you want to revisit all your old wildlife subjects to show them what you can do now.