In search for Muskoxen, part IV

For our trip we had two main objectives. The first one was to capture these magnificent animals under harsh conditions. For this purpose we were really lucky with the weather. The whole week we had great weather with nice sunshine, apart for the day that we got close to the Muskoxen. That day it was overcast and snowing. Not only made this exposure easier, but it also enhanced the harsh condition the oxen had to live in.

Our second objective was not to disturb those animals while taking pictures. Winter is a difficult time for them and Muskoxen photography is getting increasingly popular and they can use all the time to survive, without getting chased all the time. Besides, when threatened they can get aggressive and having “half a ton of mad hairy cow” after you wasn’t exactly our idea of a successful holiday… Because of this we approached them slowly, making sure they could see us and stopping when there was any reaction. This way we could get reasonable close, without ever having a real effect on the animals. The way nature photography should be, in my opinion. The best pictures are often made when animals behave normally and there is no real interaction with the photographer.

Arjen Drost

Arjen is a Polar ecologist, nature photographer and full time expedition guide on expedition cruise ships in both Polar regions. With his pictures and stories he likes to show the beauty of these very fragile and threatened places.

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