The Midnight Sun. Endless twilight. The Northern Lights. Star-filled skies. From snow whites to iceberg blues and inuksuk shadows to colourful, lush tundra flowers, glistening mountaintops and abundant wildlife of the sea and land, the stark beauty and welcoming people of Nunavut await your camera.
Many visitors come to Nunavut and keep the Spirit of the Arctic and the memories of their adventures alive with photography. Every community across the territory has some unique aspect of Inuit culture and art to capture on film or video. Outfitters and guides can arrange for helicopter trips, floatplane fly-ins, boating adventures, special group treks, custom outings and eco-tours to more remote areas to view Summer and Fall colours, migratory paths of caribou, herds of muskox, the dens of Arctic foxes and hares, avian nesting grounds and marine wildlife.
Here are some brief tips for shooting and filming in Nunavut whether you’re a pro or just shooting with your cell phone.
- If you bring a film camera – adapt for a variety of film speeds for sunny days, cloudy days and tele-photo distance.
- Protect equipment from the cold and especially salt water near the ocean or floe edge. Keep cameras and batteries close to you body for warmth and take them out when ready.
- Deal with condensation or snow on a cold lens with a lens brush and lens cloth.
- Wear synthetic glove liners or flip back fingertip gloves when you’re ready to adjust or shoot with your camera.
- Polarizing filters can work if you know how and split image and skylight filters also can help.
- Snow and ice reflection can be a challenge: reduce the chances of overexposure by bracketing, spot-metering and consider a flash to fill in objects, people or animals in the foreground.
- Take a good telephoto lens for wildlife and wide-angle lenses for vistas and landscape shots.
In general, bring the camera you’re most familiar with and comfortable using, a wide angle lens for landscapes a 24mm, 28mm or 35mm range will give you exceptional coverage and to get closer to wildlife, birds, or icebergs, a zoom lens in the 70–200mm range is optimal. An extra-long lens, 400mm or more may be best for wildlife at a distance like polar bears, whales or narwhals. Protect your lenses with a UV filter until you’re ready to shoot and a polarizer filter will help with bright skies, the blue of ice or icebergs and will reduce glare off water reflections.