Our last full day on Svalbard, but who's counting. In the midnight sun the days and nights run together and you lose track of time. We returned from our glacial excursion at 2:00 AM and it was 3AM before we finally fell asleep; so there were no suggestions to get up early and make the most of our last full day. Instead we slept in and made a lazy day of it. After lunch we made it down to some small ponds near the airport where gray phalaropes can occasionally be seen, and they did not disappoint. As we lay on the rocks they walked around us completely undisturbed by our presence.
Longyearbyen was a great learning grounds for arctic photography. Where else can you go so far above the arctic circle and have wilderness so close at hand, in a fully functioning modern town? After our week here we had a much better idea of what to pack and what to leave, and our guide Jasper Doest taught us a lot of valuable lessons on nature photography and just as important, how to post process raw images to get the best results. His advice and guidance led to Johan placing in the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year with this image:
And that alone made this an unforgettable trip.