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.
Photography & Filming
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.
(Please see additional notes on Photography & Filming below)
Notes on Photography: the above tips could be/should be reviewed or replaced by a more expert opinion from a real Nunavut photographer. For example Curtis Jones or Nansen Weber: (below from a recent article):
Nansen shoots with the Canon 1DX and equips himself with a wide-angle lens, the EF 16-35 mm f/2.8L II, which is mainly used for scenery shots. Nansen recommends that arctic photographers bring an array of neutral density filters, circular polarizers, and gradated neutral density filters to capture the many great waterfalls, streams and landscape shots.
“We have polar bears, musk ox, and arctic fox – some summers they have pups in the local den," he said. "Arctic fox are great fun to watch and photograph. Some of my best moments were watching the arctic fox family nearby. We also have snowy owls, and a variety of other arctic birds. If you look closely, you'll find a large variety of arctic flowers, as well." Nansen told us he tries to shoot with a shutter speed of 800. "That way, I am certain I will stop the animal or bird and have a sharp image," he said.
"Always shoot with your lowest possible ISO – in my case, that's ISO 200 – if conditions allow. There are no trees to cause shadows and we have twenty-four hours of sunlight. Unless it's raining, lack of light usually isn’t an issue. These days, cameras have amazing ISO capability, so you can shoot almost all the time without worrying."
"Patience is key when photographing in the Arctic,” he shared. Keep your expectations in check and be prepared for anything.
Begin planning your trip with one of our operators.
Similar activities in Nunavut
World Class and World Record Sport Fishing
Before we go on, allow us to brag for moment — fishers in Nunavut hold 6 world records with the International Game Fish Association — from a saltwater all tackle record 32 pound Arctic Char to a freshwater fly rod record Lake Trout of 28 pounds. Now, for the cast:
Outdoor, Summer, Fall
Kayaking & Canoeing
Find Your True North in Nunavut
Paddle north of the Arctic Circle in the most beautiful waters of the world. On the ocean, kayak alongside beluga whales, navigate the floe edge around floating ice while spotting colonies of kittiwakes, low-flying fulmars and king eider ducks, stopping to photograph seals, walrus and the unicorn like tusks of the narwhal.
Adventure, Outdoor, Winter, Spring
ATV & Snowmobiling
It’s not the traditional way to get around, but it sure gets you around
ATVs and snowmobiling have become a modern alternative to trekking, snowshoeing or dogsledding. A new way to travel to the old places where you can ice fish, see the wildlife or get to and from our parks, sanctuaries, cultural sites and local communities.
Outdoor, Spring, Summer, Fall
Hiking & Camping
Experiences and Locales
Summer hiking and camping experiences include the migratory bird wetlands of Polar Bear Pass near Resolute; along the shores of Whale Cove for sightings of beluga whales; through wondrous Akshayuk Pass in the mountains of Auyuittuq National Park featuring magnificent Mount Thor and the world’s tallest vertical cliff face at 1,250 metres (4,101 feet) near Pangnirtung.
Boating in the arctic is a broad spectrum including the large bespoke super-yachts and icebreaking expedition ships to privately arranged eco-tours, custom nautical experiences, sport fishing expeditions, local small boat tours, rafting & kayaking to wildlife viewing marine trips - even polar diving.
Outdoor, Winter, Spring, Wildlife
Mush Hour Adventures
Qimmiit, the plural of qimmiq, is the Inuktitut name for Canadian Inuit dogs - official animal of Nunavut and rarest and oldest dog breed in the world. Our brave, revered dogs pull strong and flexible qamutiit (sleds) and have helped us travel and hunt and provided loyal companionship for centuries in the Arctic.
You definitely need to discover it for yourself.
You have to see it for yourself, how the awesome vistas extend past the frame of what is represented in photos and videos. Hear authentic voices tell their stories first hand. Define your experience through direct perception, undergo a transformation through observing, encountering and participating first hand in the Spirit of the Arctic.
It’ll be good.
Your adventure starts now
What's on your travel bucket list? Experience the rare and unique arctic wildlife. Take a ride on a dog sled across ancient Inuit hunting trails. Witness centuries-old traditions in modern time. All of this is possible in Nunavut.