Before the walrus meeting

Over the summer, Deep Sea Reporters photographer Simon Stanford will travel to Greenland for just over a month to film walruses for an upcoming documentary. As traveling companions, he has the renowned underwater photographer Göran Ehlmé, and researcher Lars-Öivind Knutsen, who has made films about walruses before.

Simon Stanford himself has several decades of experience in documentary filming, and in many cases he has filmed wild animals in Africa at close range. However, he believes that this trip will be something completely new for him.

The team will have a Danish military base and research station in northeast Greenland as a starting point.

– We are lucky to get a roof over our heads and not have to sleep in a tent, and have access to electricity at the research station, says Simon Stanford and continues:

– As far as food is concerned, it is mostly freeze-dried. There is not much fresh there. If it’s allowed, I can fish a little to make up for what we have to eat.

The logistics of the trip are challenging, and much of the equipment has been shipped in advance to Greenland. Göran Ehlmé hopes that the modern equipment can generate exciting new material.

– The last time I was up there was ten years ago with National Geographic. Ten years is a long time in terms of technology development, and it will be awesome to film with good new cameras with 8K resolution, he says.

Göran Ehlmé believes that those who have once been up in the Arctic often want to return.

– It may not be super impressive at first glance. It is not like Antarctica, which is bursting with life and drama, but you are bitten by the quiet and calm. In the society we live in today, it becomes like yang against ying. You know you are the only one diving around there, and in many places you are the first, he says.

In the report above, we get to join in as Simon, Göran and Lars-Öivind prepare for the expedition, and take part in photographs from Göran’s previous encounters with walruses.

(Use the CC button at the bottom of the player to turn subtitles on and off)

Report: Daniel Hedström
Photo: Simon Stanford, Alexandre Gobatti Ramos, Robert Westerberg
Stills: Göran Ehlmé, Magnus Elander

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