Wildlife Photography on Svalbard part 1 – Behind the scenes, winter adventure, Thomas Heaton, cabin

Just arrived in Svalbard
and I’m very tired right now. It’s about midnight and… I’m going to meet another photographer here,
but I’m going to talk about that later. So for now it’s time
to get the bus to the hotel and then off we go for landscape and wildlife photography on Svalbard. ♪♪ I’m here on Svalbard now. And as you can see,
I have the pumpgun on my backpack. Because you have to have that when you’re walking in the wilderness of Svalbard, because of the polar bears. And… This is very exciting. First of all,…
like I just arrived last night and… 24 hours before I came here… the entire plan was canceled,
because of the heat. So… Snowmobile rental closed down,
all the trips closed down. So I had planned a trip to the East Coast
to look for polar bears,… but everything is canceled. But, that’s how it is with… wildlife photography. So now I only have two days here and… I’m going to get the most out of them
and I have to improvise. What’s going on.
And… Actually, I should say we,
because I’m not here alone. I’m here with another photographer and… I can’t wait to work with another photographer. And yes… Because I find it really interesting to inspire each other
and just to see how other people work. And the other photographer is right in front of me walking here with a backpack. Let’s say hi.
Hey, Thomas! It’s Thomas Heaton here. Yeah… Pretty hard to walk in the snow… and talk at the same time. So we’re probably going to take on
some snowshoes very soon. But yeah, let’s see what happens. We are going to… see if we can get a glimpse of
the glacier front up here. And furthermore, we are going to see
if we can get some wildlife photos… of the reindeer or maybe even the arctic fox. So… Yeah… The weather… changes all the time… and when we started the walk… down here… from where we car parked the car. It was like little blue sky
and a little wind, but… look at this. It’s… crazy. It’s like total whiteout Thomas is on the way down there. A tiny little guy walking down the valley. Look how the sun hits the background.
It’s beautiful. Get my sunglasses on,
because the light reflects in the snow. It’s pretty a pretty white. But over there…
I’ve just seen a little group of a reindeer And these… Svalbard reindeer,
they are so nice and… What I want to do is go down here. Thomas is already down there. I want to go down there,
follow that little path of stones and… Then I want to see
if I can get to the same level as the reindeer. I want to put on my… 150 to 600 and see if I can get these reindeer so that they don’t fill up the whole picture,… but just become small animals in their environment with these beautiful mountains in the background. This is really, really, really nice. Like, I haven’t been
on Svalbard for a while now, but… Now when I see it,
I really miss it. I’m really lucky, because… because the plan changed so dramatically.
Couldn’t get the snowmobiles,… everything closed down
because of that melt. Yeah, I didn’t know what to do. But luckily my very good friends Martin and Karina,
who own the Green Dog here on Svalbard,… they always help… every time I’ve been to Greenland they have always always helped me and… Also this time I was lucky,
I called them and said like, hey… Things got canceled. What can I do?
I have no plan. I don’t know what to do and… they have been incredibly helpful and let me use their car and they just served the reindeer soup. And yeah… Borrowed the rifle from Martin. Yeah, everything…
They are… nice as usual. But let’s get down the valley,
get to Thomas… and then get some telephoto lenses
on the camera and then… see if we can get some reindeer pictures. I think over there is
where the glacier front should be. But it’s so cloudy
we can’t see anything. So maybe… It’s time to concentrate
on the reindeer instead. Let’s aks here. What do you think Thomas? – I can’t see anything.
No me neither. It’s white. There’s supposed to be a glacier here,
but I don’t see anything. Let’s have a look. It’s just everything is closing down
and it’s impossible to predict anything. We have been looking at the weather forecast the whole morning, but it doesn’t help a lot. It seems like the Svalbard weather is just its own. Wow… Snowshoes would be a good idea. But, right down there
should be some reindeer. So we have been… thinking about taking on some…. telephoto lenses and
see if we can get this beautiful background… in the picture and then also get the reindeer in the front.
Not so like a portrait of reindeer,… but actually try to see
if we can capture this, like… beautiful scenery
just with the small reindeer. But yeah, let’s see… So now we’re here… and… Just in front of us
there’s a little group of reindeer… and one of the one of these guys
is definitely coming towards us. This was not meant to be
like, a photography trip. We just meant to walk to the glacier.
Just to see how the light was and Then we were talking about,
maybe let’s just bring the camera bag just in case maybe something will show up.
And actually now… We’re sitting here and
there’s a reindeer looking towards us. It’s maybe one or two hundred meters away. And yeah, there’s a gun here and it’s not to shoot the reindeer. So, sorry for putting you down
in the snow. Look at them on the top,Thomas. Look it’s awesome. Do you see them?
– Yeah Look how they come up now.
I’m just going to grab a picture here Oeh! This is nice. ♪♪ Oooh, okay.
So… Have a look. Voila ♪♪ Here we are… Oh yeah… ♪♪ So I managed to get these few pictures of the reindeer. Now we’re moving slowly up the hill and… We have to get back later,
because we didn’t plan on staying here. So we don’t have… clothes enough, all our gear.
And it’s closing down, the weather. So even though
I’m tempted to stay here… Oh… Hold on. Look at them. Oooh! Even though it’s tempting to stay here… We have to get back and
get some more clothes on. And then we’ll come back for these reindeer later,
but first… Oh, hold on. ♪♪ I love Svalbard. Now what I said was,
if I don’t continue to interrupt myself,… that even though
it’s tempting to… continue to photograph the deer,… the reindeer… I have to go back and get some more clothes on,
get the equipment ready. And then we are thinking about
driving out to look for arctic foxes… and then come back here in the afternoon. Oooh… He’s just standing there… all alone. Just backed out. Just one more picture… ♪♪ I’m just waiting.
I hope it looks up, because I’m behind a snow hill and… It should be fantastic to see. Oh He’s just looking up. I don’t know if I can get it. ♪♪ I have to see if I can film this. ♪♪ This was absolutely amazing. I was just sitting down there. I had to prepare this little camera and then they just got closer and closer and closer to me. And… I was… I’ve never been so close to a reindeer. Haaa! I’m definitely not cold anymore. It’s so, like… Then you don’t feel like
a wildlife photographer or tourist or anything. Just kind of…
I just feel like a part of nature. When you can sit down there
and the reindeer are coming… and they’re maybe… 50 meters away from you. Oh and they’re still standing there
and they’re walking along with me. So fantastic.
They don’t seem afraid at all. I better get back up to Thomas.
He’s up there on the hill. But oh, I want to get back to these. I’ve promised myself on this trip
I also have to do some landscape photography. Like, I have…
I’m here with Thomas Heaton. He’s such a skilled landscape photographer. There’s a lot I can learn from him.
But I mean… Hoh! Are they just not really nice, these reindeer. I’m so glad I brought my telephoto lens. Oooh! That’s one last picture before I go.
One last picture. Have to. Then I’ll go back. Hold on. That’s the last picture of them. Oh, they are so nice. There’s a helicopter… flew over
and I don’t know if that’s scared them or not, but… suddenly just as they…
it was like they just appeared out of the white and… I got some good photographs of the reindeer
and then suddenly like… just as fast as they came,
they disappeared again. But one thing is for sure
and that is now we are going back to the car to get… proper dressed and… Oh look! The tracks.
Just to show you the reindeer tracks. I’m tempted to follow them. But better go back. So yeah, for sure… we’re going back
to the car to get changed… to go out to see if we can find
other wildlife in this awesome weather. Like having….oh! ♪♪ Hold on ♪♪ This is awesome. This is awesome. ♪♪ Oeh! Show that..
Look at that picture. Hold on, the last thing. ♪♪ That was… Way more than I could have begged for. What a start. We were just meant to go here
to look for the glacier and then… like out of nowhere… we see a group of reindeer. I’m getting the snow
in my eyes now. So, time to get down. Maybe I can convince Thomas
that is time for a cup of coffee. Otherwise, yeah, let’s see… He’s already packed,
ready to go. And so will I be
in just a few seconds. Haaa! Backpack. So yeah, let’s go back. ♪♪

100 Replies to “Wildlife Photography on Svalbard part 1 – Behind the scenes, winter adventure, Thomas Heaton, cabin”

  1. This was great. Now I know why you took so long on the hill, you couldn't stop photographing those Reindeer! 🙂

  2. Can't believe how amazing the Reindeer were. Not what I was picturing at all (Christmas cards don't do them any justice at all). I bet it was terrible having to drag yourself away. Bet you wished had the tent and could stay there with them. Maybe you couldn't do that with the risk of Polar Bears, anyway thanks so much for letting us see them and keep up the great work. By the way make the videos as long as you like (1, 2, 3 hours) I wouldn't mind :-))

  3. Mind blown, absolutely brilliant video. Your excitement at being so close to such an amazing creature is obvious, but less about a Thomas Heaton the reindeer were pretty good too.

  4. Great video, really liked the last picture where the reindeer disappeared into the cloud (i guess). Can't wait for the next part 🙂

  5. Amazing! So great to see you guys working together! As usual, your natural enthusiasm is just incredible Morten, even when all of the best laid plans have gone to pot! I have to say I find it truly inspiring 🙂 Sam.

  6. I really love your channel Morten, I wanted to write before but I never had the time, I always watch your videos from my tv and I always keep a mental note to to write a comment in your video and just say how amazing are your videos for me! I hope you never change your way to conduct your videos I think they are really original in a way and! Keep this awesome work!

  7. what fun
    Both you and Thomas in one film.
    Such a movie is my reason to continue and be your subscriber …..

  8. Great Morten, I really your photos. Great every time you get to Great shot I'm happy to you, Enjoy 😉

  9. That's mad,I'd seen u both put on Instagram that u was there but didn't realise u was there together.my two favourite photographers. 😁😁

  10. I feel that you think you are doing something wrong, while you're out and about, capturing your photographs. That is a lie.
    At least I see you do so much right.

  11. Great stuff and great photographers. It is tremendously useful to get real info about how things are and work out on location. Keep'em coming! ☺

  12. Another inspiring video as always couldn't believe you were out with Thomas…. well done to the both of you….

  13. Nice film again Morten it must have been hard walking away from the reindeer especially after some of the shots you show us but it seemed like Thomas wasn`t enjoying it too much its hard trying to please others who go with you now and again especially if they don't have the real passion for wildlife as you have .

  14. Great stuff as always Morten and well rescued after the disaster of the melt/no snowmobiles etc..I was with Tom in the Lake District in February and despite being from Northumberland he's actually quite good company !! 🙂

  15. Morten, stunning, simply stunning. each time I watch one of your vlogs I think it can't get any better – but then it does get better. Thank you for inspiring all of us

  16. Morten, stunning, simply stunning. each time I watch one of your vlogs I think it can't get any better – but then it does get better. Thank you for inspiring all of us

  17. awesom video from both guys, same place, but so totally different pespectives of what you do at the location 😉 Love the last clip running back to get the camera, shows the struggle! Keep it up!

  18. Seeing your enthusiasm bigger than the glacier itself mine went out of the roof too,too bad i can't photograph these beautiful creatures in this kind of amazing weather
    Keep making these videos and keep clicking pictures this helps the photography fire burning in my heart ✌️🏻peace

  19. How neat. My two favorite Photographers/Youtubers together. What a trip. I'm excited to see Part II.

  20. I don't think anyone enjoys wildlife adventures as much as you. It is exciting and you always capture such intimate images of wildlife. Thanks for sharing.

  21. Hi Morten, glad The Heaton has led me to your channel.
    I enjoyed the vlog, how exiting the moment was and the lovely images from a special subject (Reindeer).
    It's a huge amount of work to get those sort of images of Reindeer, so congratulations on that!

  22. HA! I have Thomas with me, we are together……we are here to do landscape photogr….OOoo Reindeer!, see you later Thomas!

  23. Dear Morten mange tak for your wonderful new adventures photo voyage to the distant Svalbard! I can not enough tell you how I enjoy all your beautiful and wonderful and inspiring videos! I just can not wait for the next one! Please keep your videos coming if you have the time and opportunity to documenting your photographic journeys and to share even the interesting and instructive piece of advice and "How to´s" with us here watching your great YT Channel! Wishing you dear Morten both safe and joyful photographic excursions where ever you will travel next time in future! All the Best wishes to and for you dear Morten!

  24. I just love to see such passionate photography and care for the wildlife, how you could not stop photographing those reindeers and how exited you were.
    That's how real men shoot animals!

  25. this experience is magnificent !! I follow both your channels, and I love your photos, but even more I admire the passion and respect you have towards nature, it is not for everyone. for me you are a source of inspiration, thank you and keep it up !!! a greeting from Italy Federico

  26. I Absolutely love your passion! your emotions just speak truth and i feel like i am there with you! thank you for making the experience so good.
    I can not wait to go to svalbad myself one day. Also it turns out your day was better then Thomas's 😅

  27. One last picture…. lol famous words spoken by every photographer. Great collab pity the weather ruined your plans, hope you guys get together again

  28. My two favourite YouTube photographers together, what could be better. Wildlife and macro is my thing, and I can't see compositions like a real landscape photographer, which is why I watch Thomas Heaton's videos.

  29. Great video Morten! Loved the reindeer photo at 11:19 with its head popping up, looks like an amazing place!

  30. Always love a map in these sort of videos – cheers Morten – some beautiful images there. I hadn’t come across your channel before, and I’m not really a photographer, but I think anyone who goes out with a camera can learn lots from just watching these sort of videos. Thanks again

  31. i just watched thomas's video. then i saw that you were in svalbard too. i didnt even know you guys knew eachother! lol

  32. Thank you for your enthusiasm. Wish I had such a strong wrist. Holding that camera with that long lens and shooting one handed …

  33. Wow. My two favourite photographers in one video. Amazing and great video as always. Keep up the great work. Greetings from Germany.

  34. You're travel and you're photo is just AMAZING, i hope io coming soon in Italy and make a video in Tuscany or at Rome…maybe one day we can see somewhere and talk about you're travel face to face…you are the best

  35. Is "Ooh" the new "Absolutely fantastic"?
    All I can say is, Ooh, absolutely fantastic videos from both of you. Thank you for taking us along. Amazing stuff.

  36. You had really a nice first day on Svalbard. I'm just 30 days back in The Netherlands from Svalbard and took a lot of nice pictures. I'm really curius what you think about them. See my instagram https://www.instagram.com/rvdh.photography/

  37. After a few days of Youtube errors, I am finally able to watch more of your videos. Never disappointing!

  38. I love this video Morten, love it! I wish I can be you travel to the coldest place in the world to photograph wildlife

  39. Morten, you are an inspiration to all wildlife photographers with your dedication of doing the right thing, whether it be with snowshoe hares, musk oxen, roe deer or whatever. The animal's safety comes before all else and is rare these days in the world of phones and people risking their lives to get selfies. Your enthusiasm for your subjects inspires us all.

  40. You are the best nature photographer of all time. You are just the best. I love your photos. Always. Your videos teaches me so much. Great quality for time on this channel. You inspire me. Thanks. You keep me going.

  41. Oh yeah, I remember the early melting last year. It was my second spring on Svalbard and we were really sad when the ice and snow disappeared so early. We managed to do a bigger snowmobile trip before it happened, but we came back to Longyearbyen and the paths there were nearly gone. Two days later the snowmobile season was over… Great how you managed a Plan B!

  42. I still prefer the original name Spitsbergen because I can understand what it means and that is also the name in German (Spitzbergen).

  43. One last picture………one last picture…….one last picture………..lol! I have definitely been there. You sit or walk and see wildlife and time passes. Peaceful, calm and tranquill as always. Your enthusiasm is infectious, Morten.

  44. Morten, the passion you put in all your videos and in all your work is truly inspirational! Your literally changed my photograpy passion in a way I can not describe. Thanks a lot and continue like that. Fair Winds and Following Seas mate. Giorgio

  45. Hvordan fungere det på svalbard omkring sikkerhed, er der specielle regler angående omkring våben, er det noget man lejer eller skal man fx have et dansk jagttegn og eget våben med? Jeg har lyst til at rejse der op og opleve naturen og dyrelivet, men ønsker ikke at være uden sikkerhed 🙂

  46. In my photography world, the reindeer would have been an interruption of the helicopter shots 😂😂…did you photograph the helo?

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