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Arctic Dreams…..

Posted by Florian – July 20, 2009

Dreaming is such a wonderful thing. It lets our mind unfold in an entirely hopeful fashion. No fears of failure or negativity. It seems that the older I have grown, the more I dare to dream. It unleashes an incredible amount of energy. When I dreamed off the arctic in the past it was the thoughts of a wast unspoiled wilderness filled with resilient life. A landscape so unknown and big, that my imagination could run free creating a fascinating sense of wonder and desire to explore. As wilderness is shrinking around the world, we need such wilderness, that is not  disrupted with mines and drilling rigs. We need it, to simply give our mind and spirit the Freedom to Roam!

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By the hundreds of thousands members of the Western Arctic Caribou Herd fill valley after valley, Nikon D3x, 24-70mm f2.8

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Barren Ground Grizzly wandering the edge of the Arctic Refuge. Nikon D3x, 600mm f4 VR lens

Far away from the centers of our civilization lies a land of wonder, where hundreds of thousands of caribou roam the plains, where myriads of birds migrate to rear their chicks and where the kingdoms of grizzly and polar bears meet. It is America’s vast Arctic, far removed from the rest of the world, but heavily affected by humankind.

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Thousands of murres gather on pools on the ice awaiting the nesting season on the nearby cliffs; Nikon D3x, 70-200mm f2.8

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A large lead opens in the Chuckchi Sea between Pt. Hope and Cape Lisburne; Nikon D3x, 24-70mm f2.8

For many years environmental organizations have fought for the protection of the Alaskan arctic, but as the energy crisis worsens, pressure is driving Congress to open this wilderness sanctuary to oil drilling and mining operations. As part of my Freedom to Roam project in connection with the Blue Earth Alliance and Braided River Books, I am  working to produce photographic material in support of the Arctic Conservation Campaign. With compelling imagery I hope we can reach Congress and the general public by showing a true portrait of a land often called a “barren wasteland”.

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Sea ice landscape at the edge of the lead. Nikon D3x, 14-24mm f2.8

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A polar bear roams the edge of the packice in the Chuckchi Sea. Nikon D300, 200-400mm f4 + TC/E 1.4

After spending many months on the ground amongst hundreds of thousands of caribou, nesting birds and barren ground grizzlies in 2008, I realize, that the only way to cover this massive expanse of land is the aerial perspective. So in 2008 I started to plan a major “Arctic Aerial Expedition”, as part of the 2009 work on the Freedom to Roam project. The goal was to show wildlife in their environment, offering a true representation of the way animals depend on this interconnected ecosystem. My goal was to document the retreating sea ice, the platform for seals, walrus, birds and the polar bear as well as to document the 3 major caribou herds of the arctic slope.

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I want to invite you to follow my blog as I am going to share with you some of the amazing experiences I had over the last weeks photographing Alaska`s Arctic. Please pass the info on to friends who are interested in wildlife, conservation, Alaska and photography.

Posted in: Adventure, Alaska, Conservation, Expeditions, Experience, Photography, wilderness, Wildlife | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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About this blog:

Sharing the natural world through stories, images and experiences out in the field from conservation photographer Florian Schulz and Emil Herrera-Schulz. Here you will find conversations on environmental topics, conservation, photographing nature and wildlife subjects and professional tips to achieve striking images or managing your image archive. If you have a question, send it to us via our contact form and it might get answered on a post!

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