SVALBARD Photo Adventure – part 3 | remote solo camping and bird photography behind the scenes
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SVALBARD Photo Adventure – part 3 | remote solo camping and bird photography behind the scenes

It’s 10 past 4 in the morning,
and I was woken up by the wind and the rain.
I thought, if I get up early I could maybe do a timelapse, or something
with the sunrise, but it does not sound like a beautiful, quiet sunrise with
golden light. It sounds grey. So, I might sleep another hour or two. Let’s just have a look outside and see how it really is. Yeah, it’s quite windy, and a little rainy, and it does not look like I’ll get any batteries charged. Let’s be positive and think, if i take another
hour or two, I’ll wake up with the golden sunlight in the tent!
Yeah, time to go back into the warm and nice and sleeping bag. Goodnight. I might not look like it, but I feel really rested. And, what is better than waking up in a tent, on Svalbard, with your 600 millimeter wrapped in neoprene
next to you, and your satellite phone, and your binoculars, and all the good stuff. This is a beautiful little island! Fantastic! Time to make some coffee! Look at this! Look at this! Oooh, let’s get out! I’m desperate to get some
power into my power banks. What a beautiful day.
Whoa! Let’s just get out and look before we make the coffee. Oh yeah! That looks nice.
Maybe it’ll clear up a little bit. It has really been raining during the
night. It’s not warm, at all. Let’s get that solar panel up. But first,
let’s make some coffee. No, let’s get that solar panel up first, and then make
coffee afterwards! We have to get these priorities right. No! Solar panel! These two power banks are
completely empty now. 0%. And now, now the day can begin. When hiking with a rifle, it’s pretty
bad to get rain, dirt, snow, stuff in here, so what I’ve done is I have put duct tape
around it. It makes it clean and safe. There are a lot of birds sitting out there. I think I’m going to leave my bag here. I
still have the flare gun, and this area is easy to see far distance. So I’ll
leave the bag here and I’m going to see if I can get a little bit closer.
It’s awesome. Some bird photography here on the little island. So, the plans, they have changed a little
bit because I’ve just talked to Martin. High winds are coming, a storm or
something, on Thursday and Friday. Martin says he was going out here today to go
hunting in the fjords, and I could either get the pickup home today, Wednesday, or I could wait and then get a pickup Saturday. Because I’m leaving Monday
I thought that coming home maybe late on Saturday just basically didn’t give
me the opportunity to do something else on the Island here. On the other hand, I
really like to spend time here because I have spent a lot of time filming, and
setting up camp, and getting everything to work, and I would definitely love an
extra day or two here. But, I have chosen to go home today, so he’ll pick me up at
four o’clock. It’s about four hours from now. That just gives me the time to
go inland to see if I can be lucky and find the fox. There are also
nice places around Longyearbyen and Svalbard where you can go out on day trips
and stuff, so I’m going to do that. So this gives me the opportunity to
have the best of the island and also do some adventures in there. So time to pack
and go and see if we can find the fox! Let’s see. I hope there is something up there!
At least I know there’ll be a beautiful view. Whoa! I was actually wondering, when it didn’t rain how do the animals get water
on this island, but apparently… look at this. It looks like some inland lakes. Oh
I’d love to spend a little more time here in this area. Oh, there was a… I think
I must have surprised a reindeer. Look, it’s down there, you see? Look there. I
think both the reindeer and me got really frightened, because it jumped up
30 metres from me and I made a funny sound! That was a big one.
I wonder if he stops down here. So this is where they drink apparently. There he is! The light is so hard now but still nice
to see the deer. I have a time-lapse camera over there that
we need to go and pick up and, when that’s done, I’ll start to get things
down to the shoreline. Take the bear alarm down, take the tent down, just to be ready. Oh, no battery. I was trying to run the app to make it move a little bit, but… What
I wanted to do was just to have these flowers in the foreground, and then make
a slow pan while the time lapse was on. But, let’s see. Huh, not bad I think. I think, I don’t know, maybe I got something,
maybe I didn’t. Let’s pack that camp down. So, everything is now packed and ready
for the pickup. I think now it’s half past three. I think around four or five Martin will be here in his little boat. It took a while to pack
everything down, you know with bear alarms and stuff, but now I’m ready. It has
been absolutely awesome to spend three days on this little island, and I could
definitely spend some more time but because the option is either to go home
today or to wait three more days, then I’m not in doubt. I want to go back to
Longyearbyen now so I can also go out on some other small adventures in these ten
days when I’m here. As we headed towards Longyearbyen, I was already looking forward to going on some new adventures, but what I didn’t know was that high
winds and heavy rain would prevent me from going anywhere by boat and that I
would be spending the next four days indoors. But then, suddenly, on my very last
day, the weather changed. I went to a small valley, and guess who I met there?
Time was short and the moment so valuable to me, so I didn’t dare start
vlogging or anything like that. Instead, I concentrated fully on my photography
just like I did before I started making these videos! So unfortunately I can’t
share any behind the scenes stuff with you, but I can show you a few photographs
from this amazing moment with the little arctic fox…


  • Andrew Webb

    Lovely video as always, I'm always curious how you achieve such a thin focus area with a long lens like this. I love the shots of the fox with the out of focus area all around.

  • Rich Rogers Photography

    A masterclass in storytelling and production. So inspiring. Loved every minute of this adventure, thank you 👌👌

  • Max Lohrberg

    What are you doing with the duct tape on your rifle when you have to shoot? Will you rip it off or will the bullet right go through it?

  • Dominik Duchac

    Your channel was recommended to me like 1-2 months ago by YouTube algorithm and since that time I´ve been trying to watch every single video you´ve ever posted. I totally love your videos. It feels like watching a BBC documentary. The choice of music is amazing and for the past few weeks, you´ve become a huge inspiration for me as a hobby photographer. I just want to say thank you for what you´re doing and keep uploading these amazing videos. I can´t get enough of them. All the best I wish you from the Czech Republic.

  • Govinda Thompson

    Absolutely amazing finale to your Svalbard adventure series! And stunning pictures of the arctic fox! So artistically captured. Thank you so much for making these videos, they are a huge inspiration for me as an amateur wildlife photographer.

  • SilhouetteDemon

    Really beautiful! Love your videos, always stunning visuals, storytelling and of course your photography is world class.

  • Jochem Wigman

    from the Netherlands a big thumbs up for all your work. fantastic photography, magic videos, your craftsmanship and personality

  • Albert Vallecillo

    Watching your videos makes me forget everything
    It transport me there !
    You are the best not just in photograph but telling a story 👌

  • Derek Kite

    Very nice! Exploring a small area, getting to know all the nooks and crannies is very satisfying. I'm watching loons fish the spawning kokanee on the lake nearby.

  • Somewhere Down The Road

    Morten, please never change the way you are shooting these videos they are so beautiful. Some photographers seem to get more technical and artsy or commercial as they grow their channel. Please don't do that. I am sure most will agree that the adventure truly comes out in the way you capture this footage and the post editing works so well telling the story. I feel like I am watching a docu-series from National Geographic with a real life edge. I love every part of every video. It is such a pleasure watching these. You are the friendliest guy on the planet. Thanks for taking us along.

  • Amy Mason

    I dont want this trip to end! I have so enjoyed and looked forward to each one of your videos. What an amazing gift you have given your viewers. You are so talented in your photography, video and music. In a world that sometimes seems out of control, it is so refreshing to watch something that leaves you up lifted and at peace! God bless you! 🙂

  • Gail Donaldson

    This is not a vlog, this is the work of a wildlife filmmaker. The music is beautiful and your sense of timing perfect. I will not likely do any of these adventures, I have done my own at one time, and now I get to enjoy yours. This one and the musk oxen vlog are amazing. I learn something every time. Thank you Morten.

  • x47plm

    Thank you very much for taking us along with you on this beautiful 3 part adventure. I have always wanted to visit that part of the planet and now health issues will prevent me from ever going there. You are a natural at speaking to the camera in such a way that it makes me feel as though I’m there with you. You have another subscriber with me and I cant wait to see where you will take us on your next trip. Keep up the great work and stay safe while doing it. All the best to you……..Mike

  • John Hapuarachchi

    Heart stopped for a moment but in perfect peace, as I watched Morten doing what he does best – telling a beautiful story of how we can be most lonely and yet be most happy because you are with the One you love most – the Earth and its fullness. So humbling to just be present with him in his journey and I'm sure I have many fellow travellers with me following every step of this wonderful man. Thank you Morten for sharing this adventure and you are just one of a kind, and for sure I never get tired of watching you.

  • TheGuitarsadist

    Morten, thank you for the lovely series of your trip up to Svalbard.  Your videos have inspired me to get out and about so much more.  Been taking photos for over 50 years and been fortunate enough to travel many places, but in the last year or two, between you and Ben Horne YouTube, I have gone back to some old routes and spending more and more time of just going out into nature with a simple tent, sleepy bag and essential gear and enjoying what God has given us in nature.  The first two parts of this series, prodded me to get out of the RV for the long weekend and head out to Death Valley.Just me and the tent and gear and not particular schedule.Managed to revisited DV and find some new spots, got up early to catch the sunrise from Dante's View overlooking the salt ponds of Badwater, got the Sunset and colors of Artist Drive, had fun exploring Rhyolite, captured Darwin Falls and lots of hiking and shooting.Unlike you though, I did not have to make a choice between the solar charging and coffee since the batteries were all well charged and power at campground was available, so by my nature also, coffee was priority.  So much so that I finally bought a Jet Boil to get it quicker, thought I still carry my gas similar to your for other ( a 20 year old MSR Whisperlite-still going strong BTW).I am still going through nearly 400 photos taken of some great landscape and a little wildlife (even manage to get close up of one of the Wild Burros found at in and around DV).I want to thank you for the inspiration to drag the 62 year old bones out more often and spread them out in a nice cozy sleeping bag under a little 3 man tent.  Your videos have inspired me and I thank you for that.Best to you and yours

  • tony hayes

    Like Ive said before Mr. Hilmer, you are quite a remarkable gentleman. Keep up your amazing work and may it long inspire us to look after our planet

  • Balderdash HP

    I found myself nodding when you said “solar panels up first”. 😀 Beautiful video as always, Morten. I’m an avid fan.

  • Gavin J McGrath

    Once again, an excellent production: outstanding scenery, camera work, and music! Watched all 3 'episodes' and was captivated by the barren beauty of the island. You have a way of 'bringing us along with you' in your work! Most of us will never have the chance to see what you've seen, excpet through your videos. Thanks!

  • bikelife

    Hey Morten,

    just wanted to say that i found you over youtubes recommendations some days ago and i really enjoy watching your videos because of the theme self and your way to edit. Of course i do photography too and me and a friend are planning to do something simmilar to your trips but cause we've never done that before i wanted to ask you if you can give some tips and important things on our way. I am talking about something like:

    What do we need?

    What should we take care of? (especially something like needing a rifle cause of bear for example)

  • Darren J Spoonley Photography

    Three in a row , absolutely sublime watching, you had me riveted from part 1 , great story telling , filming, editing and photos throughout

  • Randy Geene

    I love the first shot of the arctic fox and its stark contrast to the browns and blacks of the land. Beautiful series Morten! Lovely music as well.

  • Dizzy Buizzy

    It's nice to get Solitude on a Beautiful Island, but all that Gear just to shoot some Birds (Seagulls) and a Fox? I don't know how to figure that out?

  • TheChuckism1

    Perfect series, Morten. This was several coffee's long ( with hitting the pause button to refill). But, they end all too quickly. The Arctic fox images are beautiful. Amazing footage to include us with your adventure. Thanks, Morten

  • wix cast


  • Bon Pecheur

    My brother shared this video with me because of the photography part . For myself I like the camping part in a wild environnement. You make 2 person's happy!
    Super video!
    Sylvain , Québec

  • normusarms

    Enjoyed the photography, could you please reveal the music you used when photographing the seabirds? Thank you, looking forward to your next adventure from miserable grey suburbia.

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