Up Close: A polar bear in Hudson Bay Photographer Paul Souders captures a polar bear near the town of Churchill, Canada

I shot these images during an expedition in western Hudson Bay, near the town of Churchill, Canada, in early July 2012. I carried more than 500 pounds of gear: my 11-foot-long inflatable Zodiac, an outboard motor, all of my photography and underwater kit, a shotgun for protection and all the survival equipment I might possibly require.

When I finally spotted a bear, I spent more than an hour following her in my boat. I had a remote camera on a 7-foot pole and held it at the edge of the hole, waiting for her to emerge. She seemed pretty relaxed as I moved progressively closer and used my underwater camera to photograph her, first above the surface, then underneath as well.

There were a couple of times when she pressed her snout against my camera’s glass dome. I couldn’t believe I was doing something this crazy close.

The Ice Bear by Paul Souders

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Paul Souders is an American nature and wildlife photographer

Words and Photography: Paul Souders

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