An intimate, passionate, and sometimes whimsical look at nature and wildlife through

the camera lenses of  Georgia and John Bockoven.

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Coming in May 2014
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BEHIND EVERY PICTURE  IS A STORY
POLAR BEARS IN FEBRUARY, IN WAPUSK NATIONAL PARK, CANADA

Before leaving on our trip to photograph polar bear mothers and 
babies we’d been repeatedly warned that it was possible we could 
spend our entire nine days in the denning area and never see a 
bear—we were going into a real wilderness, not a confined park 
where animals are on display. But when we found bears the first 
three days we were feeling really good about beating the odds. 
That was before the blizzard moved in and the temperature 
dropped to 68 degrees below (with the wind chill factor). When 
the winds slowed enough to make it possible to go out again the 
bears had disappeared. We did, however, find a small opening 
to a den that still held the mom and baby. One spotting of the mother peeking out to see if she liked what she saw, one quick look at a baby and that was it—for three days. 

This wildlife photography business is a whole lot more sitting around and waiting for something to happen than it is shooting the fun stuff. Long story short, we never saw another bear. Those first three days were it. So, was it worth the time and money and long trek into the wilderness for the opportunity to spend three days of shooting the interaction between mother polar bears and their babies? A resounding yes is the simple answer to a host of complex emotions. 


It’s estimated only five hundred people in the world have had the opportunity to visit Wapusk National Park and see what we witnessed. It’s impossible not to feel enormously

privileged to be a part of this small group. It’s also impossible for us not to feel obligated to do what we can to help protect these magnificent animals. 


The bears consumed our daylight hours. At night the northern lights put on a breathtaking display. Night after night of swirling, twisting, dipping, dancing lights filled a sky blanketed by stars.


It’s impossible to write about the trip without saying something about

the cold. We’d photographed in twenty below weather in Montana

and knew it would be colder where we were going. But we didn’t

have a clue just how cold it would get, or what it would feel like. John

and I both wear glasses. The minute we stepped outside they didn’t

just fog over, they froze over. Operating our cameras became a real

chore at times, especially replacing the batteries that lost their

charges unbelievably fast. My eyelashes froze together with almost

every blink and there wasn’t a minute I was outside that I didn’t regret

the decision not to bring goggles. The hand warmers were next to

useless. They froze inside our gloves and were like lumps of ice in our boots, discarded after the first day.


If you’d like to hear more about our adventure in Canada and the fascinating lives of these magnificent bears, stop by our booth at one of our shows. 


If you think this sounds like something you’d like to do, contact us and we’d be happy to put you in touch with the people you need to know. There’s only one outfitter in the area and access is highly restricted with permits required.