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Animals in the Arctic Wildlife Photography

February 4, 2016 8 Comments »

animals in the arctic

He raises his nose in the air and sniffs at the air, trying to get our scent, but the wind isn’t cooperating with him. He knows we are there, but what we are is a mystery. Just as I’ve never seen a polar bear before, this polar bear has most likely never seen a human […]

Zooming in on Telephoto Photography

February 2, 2016 4 Comments »

telephoto photography tips

Everything just felt wrong. I didn’t know how to carry the lens, hold it or even lock it into place! It felt as if I had grown a third arm or 11th finger; everything was awkward, and everything seemed to take longer and be so much more difficult. Over the last 9 years of doing […]

Small and Short Never Looked So Good

January 29, 2016 5 Comments »

tundra plants

I pulled on my gumboots, bundled up in my layers of coats and raingear ready for a messy trek through the forest. Rodney, our expedition leader, announced today was the day we would do a long tundra hike. I had been waiting for this moment to get out and really stretch my legs on the […]

What it’s Like to Live in the Russian Far East

January 26, 2016 11 Comments »

  I zipped my jacket trying to stave off the chill in the air blowing off the Bering Sea. It was a dismal gray day. I sat on a plastic chair on the beach next to rusty scrap metal, yet in front of me was a plate of food placed carefully on the impeccable white […]

The Collapsing Soviet Union

January 21, 2016 9 Comments »

Derelict Places Russia

The Russian Far East is a place few people ever see…even for Russians. So it’s not surprising that it’s a bit neglected. Its history is one of exploration, doomed voyages, military positioning, and harsh conditions. It was either feast or famine in this area of the world. In the Cold War era from 1945 to […]

Bird Watching in the Russian Arctic

January 19, 2016 4 Comments »

bird watching arctic russia

Meghan’s face comes alive as we approach the bird cliffs. She’s calling out bird species for the rest of the people in the zodiac and rattling off the extremely subtle differences between them. She finds different species in various little crevices with her binoculars as if it’s a Where’s Waldo book. I just listen and […]

How an Arctic Expedition Cruise Works

January 12, 2016 6 Comments »

I stepped on board the Spirit of Enderby, an Russian arctic expedition cruise ship holding a maximum of 50 passengers and 25 crew, it had an industrial feel to it. No poolside bars, welcome drinks, or elegant entryways; instead there were loading cranes and zodiac rafts stacked up on top of each other on the […]

Time Travel to Anadyr Russia

January 5, 2016 2 Comments »

Anadyr Russia

We gathered around Richard listening intently to his instructions about the Anadyr Russia immigration process, “Russians don’t smile much, so you shouldn’t either. When you go through immigration, just try to be solemn and not too loud and fit into their culture the best you can.” I thought about my past travels to Russia and […]

My 4 Best Days on Earth in 2015

December 1, 2015 29 Comments »

best days on earth

I feel giddy like a 7-year-old at Christmas. I look out over the barren tundra, a new environment for me, and think about how it makes me feel free and hopeful. The clouds break and a crack of blue sky appears, as if the game of hide and seek is over and it can finally […]