From the Archive: Polar Bear Sleeping, Svalbard

Polar bear, Hinlopen Straight, Svalbard, Norway. © www.thomaspickard.com

Polar bear, Hinlopen Straight, Svalbard, Norway. © www.thomaspickard.com

Polar bear (Ursus maritimus), resting on sea ice, Hinlopen Straight, Svalbard.

It may be hard to believe, but this photo was taken with a 400mm lens and it was taken from the main deck on the Akademik Vavilov. While a 400mm lens has a reasonable amount of reach (this photos isn’t cropped), this photo is really a testament to the Russian Captain’s incredible skill in managing to bring such a large object - the ship - so close to a polar bear, without disturbing it.

And to be clear, the bear was awake when we approached it. After a few minutes of looking at us, it decided we weren’t of much interest and decided to have a rest.

Learn more about polar bears at Polar Bears International