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Further encounters with the Wild Brown Bear – Part 2

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An image of a large adult wild brown bear as he walks adjacent to the lake photographed during the NaturesLens photography holiday to photograph the Wild Brown Bear

This is part two of my blog about my encounters with the Wild Brown Bear of Finland – if you have missed it, please read part 1 here.

The amazing environment that the wild brown bears are found within photographed during the NaturesLens photography holiday to photograph the Wild Brown Bear

Night 4

Night 4 for me was a bit of a bust from a bear perspective. I chose to go into a single man hide for the night & was quietly confident of some good results. However, it was not to be as the wild brown bear sightings were too far away although there was some amusement as a very large male brown bear approached a nearby hide & the occupants started to panic as they were ‘over lensed’ for the shots & great panic ensued as the bear serenely walked past!

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Encounters with Wild Brown Bears – Part 1

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A pair of the Wild Brown Bears on the side of one of the lakes captured by NaturesLens guest Trevor during the Wild Brown Bears of Finland Photography Holiday

Outward Bound

As a keen wildlife photographer, I am always looking at ways to challenge myself so when Sean Weekly told me of availability on a trip to Finland to photograph the Wild Brown Bears, I jumped at it. I had met Sean on Skomer Island back in 2016 photographing the Atlantic Puffins & learnt so much in that short time I was confident that I would enjoy the trip even though it was my first organised wildlife trip.

An image of one of the Wild Brown Bears captured by NaturesLens guest Trevor during the Wild Brown Bears of Finland Photography Holiday

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Sorcha’s view of the land of the Wild Brown Bear

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A portrait of one of the juvenile wild brown bears photographed during the NaturesLens Wild Brown Bears of Finland Photography Holidays

I was very excited waiting for the day I was to head off to on an adventure to see &, hopefully, capture some images of the wild brown bears of Finland for myself. I had previously spent a wonderful weekend with NaturesLens on their “Birds of Prey Workshop” prior to going abroad, this was primarily to help hone my, admittedly, very basic photography skills when it comes to wildlife & the capture of images of nature.

After this taster I was keen to get going on my wild brown bear trip & to try out my newly acquired skills. The time soon came & I was in this wonderful boreal location where wild brown bears were to be found & it was just beautiful; watching the sun rise, set & rise again in a few hours in the land of the “midnight sun”, lakes with mist gathering & the white balls of cotton grass seeds swaying in the breeze.

One of the large male wild brown bears up close to one of the hides photographed during the NaturesLens Wild Brown Bears of Finland Photography Holidays Read more

Wild Brown Bears in Black and White

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Amongst the cotton grass, a young Finnish Brown Bear stands on his back legs captured during the NaturesLens Wild Brown Bears of Finland Photography Holiday

Prior to my trip to Finland to photograph the Wild Brown Bears, I knew that I wanted to come away with a series of compelling & interesting black & white photographs.

With wildlife photography you can use monochrome to highlight the details of the animal or draw your viewers eyes directly to the subject of your image.

B&W images are also useful in turning distracting backgrounds into a dark uncluttered one. Probably the biggest reason I love shooting this way is that it keeps you focused on the actual composition & texture of the photo. It allows you to focus on shapes, light, shadows, lines, & small details allowing for a more interesting image. That is why some photos look more convincing & compelling in black & white than colour.

Amongst the cotton grass, a young Finnish Brown Bear stands on his back legs captured during the NaturesLens Wild Brown Bears of Finland Photography Holiday Read more

Wolverines & Brown Bears of the Taiga Forest

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A wolverine stood on the edge of the Taiga Forest amongst a field of cotton grass

It was not all about big Brown Bears during the Finland Photography Holiday in the Taiga Forest; we had opportunities to see other species too & this included the rather rare & elusive Wolverine!

A wolverine stood on the edge of the Taiga Forest amongst a field of cotton grass

Once abundant in numbers, the wolverine is now a very rare animal due to over-hunting. However it was certainly one of the main highlights from the Wild Brown Bears of Finland Photography Holiday.

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The Wild Brown Bears of Finland

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One of the female Brown Bears and her cub amongst the cotton grass of the Taiga photographed during the NaturesLens Wild Brown Bears of Finland Photography Holiday

In June I had the pleasure of co-leading the NaturesLens Wild Brown Bears of Finland Photography Holiday to Vartius.

Close to the Russian border lies an area of the Taiga forest as wild & untouched as it gets within Europe, & here roams one of the greatest predators in the world, the wild Brown Bear!

One of the big male Brown Bears approaches the lake photographed during the NaturesLens Wild Brown Bears of Finland Photography HolidayOn our first day, we arrived at the main camp location around mid-afternoon, the group settled into their rooms in a comfy wooden lodge & unpacked, preparing all their camera gear for the first night in the brown bear hides. When unpacked the group headed to the restaurant for dinner; dinner was served around 4 pm every afternoon before every hide session. The food was great, home cooked & tasty, & set us up nicely before heading off to the hides. One of the Finnish Brown Bears alongside one of the small lakes photographed during the NaturesLens Wild Brown Bears of Finland Photography HolidayWe left our lodge around 5 pm every evening, taking in the 30-minute walk to through the forest & swamps to get to our hides. The hides were some of the best photographic hides I have worked from, supplied with ground level shooting holes & beds – what is not to like? We split the group up into various hides from 1 man to 3 man hides around the area which offered various views of the forest from open cotton field meadows, pine forest lakes & deep woodland hides.
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Possible return to the Ice Bears of the Yukon

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A Pair Of Sparring You Grizzly Bears On The Banks Of The Fishing Branch River Typical Of The Kind Of Image That May Be Captured On The NaturesLens Ice Bears Of The Yukon Photographic Holiday

Although the 2018 trip to photograph the Ice Bears is already full – there is a possibility of us running the Ice Bears of the Yukon photography workshop again in 2019 or 2020, as with the 2018 trip there will only be a tiny number of places available, if you would be interested in joining one or other of us on this photography workshop deep in the wilds of the Yukon, then get in touch & we can send you details.

An Ice Covered Grizzly Bear Of The Yukon Typical Of The Kind Of Image That May Be Captured On The NaturesLens Ice Bears Of The Yukon Photographic Holiday

The itinerary & dates would be very similar to the 2018 trip, so view the event page for those details – we will likely have to get a booking in at least 18 months – 2 years in advance, the window for this type of photography of the Ice Bears is a matter of only a few weeks.

One Of The Grizzly Bears Of Bear Cave Mountain Walks Alongside Fishing Branch River Typical Of The Kind Of Image That May Be Captured On The Ice Bears Of The Yukon Photographic Holiday An Atmospheric Image Of Landscape Of Fishing Branch River Typical Of The Kind Of Image That May Be Captured On The NaturesLens Ice Bears Of The Yukon Photographic Holiday A Pair Of Sparring You Grizzly Bears On The Banks Of The Fishing Branch River Typical Of The Kind Of Image That May Be Captured On The NaturesLens Ice Bears Of The Yukon Photographic Holiday A Grizzly Bear Bursts From Fishing Branch River With A Freshly Caught Salmon Typical Of The Kind Of Image That May Be Captured On The Ice Bears Of The Yukon Photographic Holiday

Events

Wild Brown Bears of Finland Photography Holiday

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Wild Brown Bears of Finland Photography Holiday

Join NaturesLens on a week-long wildlife adventure, heading deep into Finnish forests to photograph the native brown bears of Finland which inhabit the region, observing this magnificent animal as it roams freely throughout its remote woodland habitat. The environment offers the perfect backdrop in front of which to capture the bears as they hunt & maintain their territory.

The Wild Brown Bears of Finland Photography Holiday is currently priced at £1099 each participant (until 31st October 2017, £1999 each participant thereafter).

This is a unique opportunity to capture incredible images of this secretive species within their picturesque natural environment. Group numbers are limited, so be sure to book early to avoid disappointment!
One of the European Brown Bears photographed at the location used for the NatureslLens Brown Bears of Finland Photography Holiday

The majestic brown bear, considered by many as the king of the forest, wanders predatorily across an expanse of unspoilt woodland which lies along the Finland/Russia border. This is one of Europe’s few remaining true wildernesses, allowing native species like the brown bear to thrive without any threat from human activity.
Remaining hidden in comfortable hides with beds & bathroom facilities; disguised within the landscape, you will have the opportunity to photograph the bears within both forest & meadow hides throughout the day, using the changing light conditions to maximise the quality of your images. 17 of the 22 hides you will have at your disposal have been built specifically with the photographer in mind, meaning that their structure & interior is perfectly suited to provide an enjoyable & comfortable photography experience, whilst giving you the best access to views of the landscape from which to take photographs.
Being at the animals’ eye level lets you immerse yourself in the action, observing the bears’ behaviour using both close up & wide angle lenses, capturing perfect close-up images with the bears remaining none the wiser. You may also encounter other native species, such as the great grey owl, or the elusive red squirrel.
A single European Brown Bear photographed at the location used for the NatureslLens Brown Bears of Finland Photography Holiday
We have chosen to hold the trip at this time of year so that your photography will benefit from long hours of light, allowing daylight to light your images for as long as possible. This is also the season during which the bears are most active, making it the optimum time to capture the bears at their best, obtaining the most diverse range of photographs. The mysterious forested landscape provides the perfect backdrop for achieving editorial quality images. Johnny Södergård, our NaturesLens guide will assist you in making the most of the lighting & the environment when needed to ensure that you are able to make the most of the photography opportunities.
Join NaturesLens for on a unique photography excursion into the wilderness of Finland, capturing beautiful images of the impressive brown bear as it thrives in its picturesque natural habitat. We can only offer a select few people this opportunity each year, so book early to avoid missing out.
£1099 exc flights & airport hotels – all transportation, food, accommodation & hide usage from landing in Kajaani to the return to Kajaani airport is included.
Any places booked prior to October 31st, 2017 will have the early bird price applied to them – beyond that the price will rise to £1999 per person.

Wild Brown Bears of Finland Workshop Availability

EVENT FULL

Recommended Equipment

Clothing

We recommend that you dress up warmly for the early mornings – it can get quite cold sitting in the hide in the early hours. Wearing layers is advisable so that they may be shed at a later stage where necessary.

  •  Warm fleece for early mornings and once the sun has set.
  •  Clothing for hide work should be camouflage or neutral browns & greens.
  •  Water bottle or flask for tea & coffee.
  •  Mosquito repellent.

Camera Equipment

  • Digital camera body.
  • Lenses in the range 70mm – 500mm.
  • Lenses with f2.8 will give the best light capture and speed of focussing.
  • An alternative to long telephoto lenses is a tele-converter (e.g. 1.4x or 2x).
  • Tripod head.
  • Spare memory cards.
  • Spare battery.
  • Battery charger.
  • Lens cleaning cloth.
  • Laptop or another type of storage device – we will be shooting lots of images.

Additional Notes

NaturesLens photography holidays include only the travel stated on the event page, flights of any nature are not included. Flight details, where applicable, are made available to clients in plenty of time to allow for booking at the best prices available.

The photography holiday itinerary is subject to change & is to be considered provisional.

NaturesLens photography holidays require a minimum number of participants; if sufficient photography holiday places are not sold the photography holiday may not be run, this photography holiday has a minimum participant level of 5 plus NaturesLens guide(s).

Not all mentioned wildlife can be observed & photographed at all times of the year, thus some activities may be considered seasonal & not available.

WILD BROWN BEARS OF FINLAND PHOTOGRAPHY HOLIDAY BOOKING FORM

EVENT FULL – CLOSED FOR BOOKINGS

Overnight on way out at Helsinki Airport is recommended for either a lounge or an overnight in Forenom Hostel Vantaa Airport.
European Brown Bear photographed at the location used for the NatureslLens Brown Bears of Finland Photography Holiday

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