Martin Gregus, a Canadian-Slovakian photographer, lived with polar bears for over a month and came back with inspiring stories and incredible photos.
After traveling to the Arctic and seeing polar bears at the height of the tourist season - winter - an idea sprung up in Gregus’ mind: how would this tundra look during summer, with not a single soul around?
Gregus documented his time among the polar bears in a short documentary film. In the movie, he shares unbelievably inspiring moments of his 33-day-long journey in the Arctic.
A full month in the Arctic poses many challenges. At first, Gregus and Goodman were all by themselves. With no pier, they were struggling to keep the boat vertical to the beach. Every rising tide could carry them away: “every six hours it felt like the boat was going to break apart on the rocks, but after a few days even that felt normal. To be honest, it’s kind of funny, looking back at the situation now, trying to explain to people the normality of the dishes falling, the boat cracking and squeaking.”
Living safely among bears is a constant balancing act between being threatening and calm enough. This is so that the bears don’t attack you but won’t be too scared to come close. In his film, Gregus shared that even though he came close to some of the bears, he would never risk shooting alone. "Doing so would show a complete disregard for the animals. After all, if they attack you, it’s because you did something wrong. We are the visitors, the bears simply tolerate us.“
And besides, the real challenger, according to him, is the Arctic itself. “It doesn’t cooperate with you,” he says, “it will toss new challenges and problems in your way, and only when you solve enough of those challenges, will you finally get to go home.”