wildlife photography

by Katherine Yaksich

BlackRapid Double  
 I reached out to the team at   BlackRapid   and asked if I could try out their Double camera strap during my photo residency in the Arctic this past summer, and they were so kind enough to send me a strap. I was really impressed by how functional and comfortable the strap was, and it truly allowed me to take photos much more quickly and efficiently and made my job easier. You can miss a lot of shots in the Arctic if you’re too slow because the wildlife doesn’t seem to wait around. The right equipment can truly help make or break your shot! 
 I have a lot of friends and colleagues that shoot with 2 camera bodies without a double camera strap system, and it seems inefficient and challenging from what I have observed (one of my friends recently purchased the Double and another BlackRapid strap and is extremely satisfied). I’m excited to head down to Antarctica next month with the Double, especially since Antarctica is my final continent to explore and has been on my bucket list ever since I was in 4th grade! 
  I highly recommend the BlackRapid Double strap and outline some pros and cons below:  
 PROS 
  The Double is extremely comfortable (much more comfortable than using 2 separate camera straps) and distributes the weight of heavy camera/lens combinations quite nicely. In fact, it is the most comfortable strap I have used when using a heavy DSLR camera and long telephoto lens combination. 
 It is highly functional, easy to adjust, well built/designed, and lightweight. It’s a very secure way to use 2 cameras and allows you to access either camera body both quickly and efficiently. 
 The Double can easily be transformed into 2 separate single straps if you only want to use 1 camera. 
 It is very well priced, and worth every penny. Think of it as an investment into your body. Your back and neck will thank you for it. 
  CONS 
  If you bend over at the hips, the camera bodies will swing forward with your body and can potentially bump into objects in front of you, ie, if you bend over a railing to look down. 
 The metal carabiners (that lock the cameras to the strap) scratch easily but this is purely cosmetic and really a non-issue. It won’t affect the performance of the strap. 
  Live Adventurously,   Reuben

BlackRapid Double

I reached out to the team at BlackRapid and asked if I could try out their Double camera strap during my photo residency in the Arctic this past summer, and they were so kind enough to send me a strap. I was really impressed by how functional and comfortable the strap was, and it truly allowed me to take photos much more quickly and efficiently and made my job easier. You can miss a lot of shots in the Arctic if you’re too slow because the wildlife doesn’t seem to wait around. The right equipment can truly help make or break your shot!

I have a lot of friends and colleagues that shoot with 2 camera bodies without a double camera strap system, and it seems inefficient and challenging from what I have observed (one of my friends recently purchased the Double and another BlackRapid strap and is extremely satisfied). I’m excited to head down to Antarctica next month with the Double, especially since Antarctica is my final continent to explore and has been on my bucket list ever since I was in 4th grade!

I highly recommend the BlackRapid Double strap and outline some pros and cons below:

PROS

  • The Double is extremely comfortable (much more comfortable than using 2 separate camera straps) and distributes the weight of heavy camera/lens combinations quite nicely. In fact, it is the most comfortable strap I have used when using a heavy DSLR camera and long telephoto lens combination.
  • It is highly functional, easy to adjust, well built/designed, and lightweight. It’s a very secure way to use 2 cameras and allows you to access either camera body both quickly and efficiently.
  • The Double can easily be transformed into 2 separate single straps if you only want to use 1 camera.
  • It is very well priced, and worth every penny. Think of it as an investment into your body. Your back and neck will thank you for it.

CONS

  • If you bend over at the hips, the camera bodies will swing forward with your body and can potentially bump into objects in front of you, ie, if you bend over a railing to look down.
  • The metal carabiners (that lock the cameras to the strap) scratch easily but this is purely cosmetic and really a non-issue. It won’t affect the performance of the strap.

Live Adventurously,
Reuben

by Katherine Yaksich

5 of 5 of the #blackandwhitechallenge 
 Nearly 5 years ago, I quit my job and relocated to NY from CA with hopes of becoming a photographer and filmmaker. Back then, the Holy Grail would have been to land an assignment for National Geographic, but I’ve since learned that I don’t necessarily need to shoot for Nat Geo to do meaningful work and tell powerful stories. In fact, one of my favorite photographers told me that he actually turned down his first assignment for Nat Geo. To be perfectly honest, I’m not even entirely sure if I could handle the pressure of such an assignment, and the thought of shooting 40,000 - 60,000 images for a single assignment is a bit overwhelming… 
 This year I had the incredible experience of being a photographer in residence onboard an expedition ship in the Arctic. I absolutely loved it because I got to explore such a beautiful and remote part of our planet doing what I love, and it was a meaningful and transformative experience because it helped me understand our fragile world a bit better and the importance of safeguarding the future of our earth. 
 I’m beyond excited to embark on the ship again in February for a month long residency in Antarctica, especially since Antarctica has been on my bucket list ever since I did a report on it in 4th grade. It is also my last and final continent to visit. 
 What kind of experiences transform and bring meaning to your life? 
 I nominate @andrewshepherd for the black and white challenge. I love working with Andrew not only because he is an overall wonderful human, but because his work is always unexpected, beautiful, and solid. 
 #thisarcticlife #neverstopexploring #notgeo

5 of 5 of the #blackandwhitechallenge

Nearly 5 years ago, I quit my job and relocated to NY from CA with hopes of becoming a photographer and filmmaker. Back then, the Holy Grail would have been to land an assignment for National Geographic, but I’ve since learned that I don’t necessarily need to shoot for Nat Geo to do meaningful work and tell powerful stories. In fact, one of my favorite photographers told me that he actually turned down his first assignment for Nat Geo. To be perfectly honest, I’m not even entirely sure if I could handle the pressure of such an assignment, and the thought of shooting 40,000 - 60,000 images for a single assignment is a bit overwhelming…

This year I had the incredible experience of being a photographer in residence onboard an expedition ship in the Arctic. I absolutely loved it because I got to explore such a beautiful and remote part of our planet doing what I love, and it was a meaningful and transformative experience because it helped me understand our fragile world a bit better and the importance of safeguarding the future of our earth.

I’m beyond excited to embark on the ship again in February for a month long residency in Antarctica, especially since Antarctica has been on my bucket list ever since I did a report on it in 4th grade. It is also my last and final continent to visit.

What kind of experiences transform and bring meaning to your life?

I nominate @andrewshepherd for the black and white challenge. I love working with Andrew not only because he is an overall wonderful human, but because his work is always unexpected, beautiful, and solid.

#thisarcticlife #neverstopexploring #notgeo

by Katherine Yaksich

This past summer I had the wonderful opportunity to observe and photograph polar bears in the Arctic for my first time. The mother and cub pictured here was actually my first polar bear sighting, and I remember this moment quite vividly and will probably never forget it. Seeing polar bears in the wild transformed me, and made me truly realize how fragile our environment is. 
 I want to share some text that was posted on the @natgeo Instagram feed yesterday: 
 “Polar bears have come to represent the Arctic ecosystem and we look to them as an indicator of the health of the polar region they roam. Due to human-caused climate change, the Arctic is currently experiencing the warmest air temperatures in four centuries, and sea ice losses in the summer of 2012 broke all previous records. Polar bears are feeling the pressure; their populations are declining in Churchill, Manitoba in direct correlation with the loss of sea ice. The sea ice freezes later each fall and melts earlier each spring which means less time for hunting on sea ice. We must act today to change our carbon-emitting habits. It is estimated that if current climate trends are correct, two-thirds of the polar bear population could disappear by 2050. All the creatures from the top of the food chain to the bottom who are specially adapted to life on ice depend on humans to act now to lessen their carbon emissions that have caused these changes. What daily decisions are you making to reduce your carbon footprint?” 
 #thisarcticlife #saveourseaice 

This past summer I had the wonderful opportunity to observe and photograph polar bears in the Arctic for my first time. The mother and cub pictured here was actually my first polar bear sighting, and I remember this moment quite vividly and will probably never forget it. Seeing polar bears in the wild transformed me, and made me truly realize how fragile our environment is.

I want to share some text that was posted on the @natgeo Instagram feed yesterday:

“Polar bears have come to represent the Arctic ecosystem and we look to them as an indicator of the health of the polar region they roam. Due to human-caused climate change, the Arctic is currently experiencing the warmest air temperatures in four centuries, and sea ice losses in the summer of 2012 broke all previous records. Polar bears are feeling the pressure; their populations are declining in Churchill, Manitoba in direct correlation with the loss of sea ice. The sea ice freezes later each fall and melts earlier each spring which means less time for hunting on sea ice. We must act today to change our carbon-emitting habits. It is estimated that if current climate trends are correct, two-thirds of the polar bear population could disappear by 2050. All the creatures from the top of the food chain to the bottom who are specially adapted to life on ice depend on humans to act now to lessen their carbon emissions that have caused these changes. What daily decisions are you making to reduce your carbon footprint?”

#thisarcticlife #saveourseaice 

by Katherine Yaksich

 Arctic Self Portrait 
   An Arctic self portrait taken less than 600 miles from the North Pole, while we search for polar bears near the pack ice.   Thanks for joining me on this wild adventure. It’s difficult to describe my experience in the Arctic as a photographer in residence, but I definitely have a greater appreciation for our planet. I’ve learned a tremendous amount and had the wonderful opportunity to be part of a gracious, knowledgable, and talented expedition team. I’m excited to be back on the ship headed to Antarctica next February, which would mark my 7th and final continent. Antarctica has actually been on my bucket list ever since I did a school report on it in third grade.    
   I will leave you with this quote by Paul Nicklen, a National Geographic photographer and biologist, that truly resonated with me:   
   “I want to bring back images of this remote, raw, unforgiving, beautiful, and yet extremely fragile world to you. I want you to care about these regions as much as I do, and I hope to inspire you to help avert the warming trend that is changing them quickly and irreversibly.”     
   Live Adventurously,  Reuben

 Arctic Self Portrait

An Arctic self portrait taken less than 600 miles from the North Pole, while we search for polar bears near the pack ice. 

Thanks for joining me on this wild adventure. It’s difficult to describe my experience in the Arctic as a photographer in residence, but I definitely have a greater appreciation for our planet. I’ve learned a tremendous amount and had the wonderful opportunity to be part of a gracious, knowledgable, and talented expedition team. I’m excited to be back on the ship headed to Antarctica next February, which would mark my 7th and final continent. Antarctica has actually been on my bucket list ever since I did a school report on it in third grade. 

I will leave you with this quote by Paul Nicklen, a National Geographic photographer and biologist, that truly resonated with me:

“I want to bring back images of this remote, raw, unforgiving, beautiful, and yet extremely fragile world to you. I want you to care about these regions as much as I do, and I hope to inspire you to help avert the warming trend that is changing them quickly and irreversibly.”  

Live Adventurously,
Reuben

by Katherine Yaksich

This Arctic Life 
  My favorite image of my Arctic series goes out to this mother and cub, spotted from our ship from over 8 miles away by one of our naturalists. It may not look like it, but this was my most challenging photograph. We had to race over in our Zodiacs in very rough waters to get within 125 meters, and shooting at a focal length of 640 mm from a bouncing watercraft is not very ideal. Water was spraying all over us in true Arctic expedition fashion, and some cameras even stopped working after this operation.   
  According to a report published by the World Wide Fund for Nature, “  A substantial reduction in the   extent of the sea ice during the summer will   undoubtedly have a negative impact on polar   bears. Based on extremely conservative   forecasts about the future extent of the sea ice,   scientists have estimated that two thirds of the   polar bear population could become extinct by   2050. If the sea ice continues to retreat at the   speed witnessed during the last few years, the   situation will become even more critical.”

This Arctic Life

My favorite image of my Arctic series goes out to this mother and cub, spotted from our ship from over 8 miles away by one of our naturalists. It may not look like it, but this was my most challenging photograph. We had to race over in our Zodiacs in very rough waters to get within 125 meters, and shooting at a focal length of 640 mm from a bouncing watercraft is not very ideal. Water was spraying all over us in true Arctic expedition fashion, and some cameras even stopped working after this operation. 

According to a report published by the World Wide Fund for Nature, “A substantial reduction in the extent of the sea ice during the summer will undoubtedly have a negative impact on polar bears. Based on extremely conservative forecasts about the future extent of the sea ice, scientists have estimated that two thirds of the polar bear population could become extinct by 2050. If the sea ice continues to retreat at the speed witnessed during the last few years, the situation will become even more critical.”

by Katherine Yaksich

MOTHERHOOD

Polar bears rolling in the deep at Hornsund, located on the island of Spitsbergen in Svalbard.

Filmed on location in the Arctic

by Katherine Yaksich

I AM THE WALRUS
Part 1 of 4 of my short Arctic video series (15 sec each). Filmed handheld at a focal length of 640 mm so please pardon the camera shake!

Filmed on location in the Arctic

by Katherine Yaksich

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This Arctic Life \ Scenes from Diskobukta

1. Old trapper huts

2. Making nests

3. The Arctic fox is well adapted to living in cold environments, and has thick fur which is brown in summer and white in winter. 

by Katherine Yaksich

This Arctic Life 
 One last shot before I go again - my favorite polar bear at Inglefieldbreen. Polar bears have transparent hair, black skin, and black tongues and are the largest terrestrial predator on earth. #thisarcticlife (at Svalbard)

This Arctic Life

One last shot before I go again - my favorite polar bear at Inglefieldbreen. Polar bears have transparent hair, black skin, and black tongues and are the largest terrestrial predator on earth. #thisarcticlife (at Svalbard)