Vancouver man’s summer polar bear pics win prestigious prize

Inexperienced grass, blue skies and polar bears.

It is not a mix a lot of folks photograph when wondering of the burly creatures in Canada’s Arctic, but it really is 1 that was captured by Martin Gregus. His spectacular and personal photographs of polar bears having fun with the summer months sunlight gained him one of wildlife photography’s most prestigious honours.

This 7 days the Vancouver male received the Mounting Star Portfolio Award at the Natural Record Museum’s 2021 Wildlife Photographer of the 12 months opposition, a prize provided to young photographers aged 18 to 26. His do the job will be featured at the London, U.K., museum and afterwards toured all over the planet.

“It was just a desire appear accurate,” he advised CTV Nationwide Information of successful the award. “I have been carrying out images since I was 8 a long time aged.”

Gregus and his group, which provided his assistant and a bear guard, travelled to Hudson Bay for 13 days in 2020 and 20 times in 2021 to get up near and personal with the neighborhood wildlife.

“We managed to doc some unbelievable behaviours, and it was so thrilling just waking up in the early morning and seeing these bears appropriate in front of your window,” he said.

Martin Gregus polar bears 2

But it truly is not just about becoming in the suitable position at the ideal time, in accordance to Gregus. Portion of the get the job done involves avoiding interference with the animals and permitting them to get accustomed to your presence — one thing that is obvious in one of his pics, which attributes a mom nursing two of her cubs.

“I get goosebumps considering about it,” he stated of the photograph. “[It was] quite personal, and which is just hrs and hours of research you place in with these bears to sort of introduce them to you.”

Other photographs from the profitable set involved two feminine polar bears taking part in in shallow water, along with an adult having an afternoon nap in the grass with a cub.

Martin Gregus polar bears 3

Many of the pics were being taken with the use of drones, which permit Gregus observe the surrounding wildlife when holding his length.

It wasn’t generally so easy, even so, keeping the bears at bay. Tenting in the wilderness devoid of a bathroom in sight can depart a man or woman fairly uncovered.

“Just about every time you need to have to go, you take a gun with you and you just go out and locate a awesome space and you disguise there and sometimes polar bears go by,” Gregus reported.

Gregus experienced to conquer out a huge subject to win his award.

“Wildlife Photographer of the Yr is the world’s most significant wildlife images competition. It’s been operating for 57 yrs,” Natalie Cooper, competitors judge and senior researcher at the Normal Record Museum, advised CTV National Information. “We experienced more than 50,000 entries this yr and we experienced to then slim individuals down to just 100.”

Martin Gregus polar bears 5

The opposition this yr bundled awards in 19 groups and also available a amount of commendations.

“What we’re wanting for is technically great photographs but actually lovely photographs as very well, so points that make you quit and assume and want to continue to keep wanting at them,” she claimed. “We are also intrigued in issues that have a story driving them, also.”

Gregus also was not the only Canadian to be acknowledged for his wildlife images.

Gil Wizen of Mississauga, Ont., received two awards. Just one was in the “Behaviour: Invertebrates” classification, for his close-up of a spider in the midst of weaving with its webbing. Two a lot more of his images been given commendations underneath this category.

His second award was in the “Urban Wildlife” category, where by he photographed a massive Brazilian wandering spider, seemingly guarding its newborn brood, just after finding them under the bed he was sleeping on.

Shane Kalyn of Vancouver also won an award in the “Behaviour: Birds” category for his shut-up of two courting ravens.

Celina Chien was counseled in the “Photojournalism” class for her photo of a Bornean orangutan gripping the bars amongst enclosures at a zoo, and Nichole Vijayan was counseled in the “11-14 Years” class for her image of an jap bluebird feeding its chick.

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Kenneth Proto

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