Josh Holko

The reflection of the Polar Bear was an image I pre-envisioned. I spotted the bear wandering toward the edge of the permanent pack ice while on the small expedition ship M.S. Origo, around 11 p.m. under the midnight sun about 600 miles south of the North Pole. I knew the moment would not last long, so I ran to my cabin and grabbed my camera. I didn’t even have time to go on deck—I just pushed open the porthole in my cabin as the bear started to look down into its own reflection. I was able to make just one image before the bear lifted its head and walked off. For me, this image is about symmetry, simplicity, and natural beauty. Polar Bears are incredible animals, and capturing one looking curiously at its own reflection was a very special moment.

The photograph was shot RAW and then post-processed in Adobe Lightroom.

Gear used: 


Josh Holko is a full-time professional landscape, nature and wilderness photographer. Dome of his credits and honors include: 2014 AIPP Canon Australian Professional Science, Environment and Nature Photographer of the Year, 2014 AIPP Epson Victorian Professional Photographer of the Year, 2014 AIPP Epson Victorian Professional Science, Environment and Nature Photographer of the Year, 2014 AIPP Epson Victorian Professional Creative Photographer of the Year.

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Amazing!  Thank you for sharing your talents with us.  Did you even have time to adjust you camera settings or did you have it on portrait setting?

Hi Valerie, I actually shoot only in manual mode. Thank you for the kind words:-) 

Thank you for sharing your passion and a world that many of us rarely see. You've reminded me to focus on the the spirit of the moment rather than the technical aspect of photography.

 The shot of a lifetime.  Wildlife opportunities like this are but a few seconds in length......Fantastic shot!!!

Great photo. I took a similar photo of a polar bear looking onto the water and have used it on my business card.. I have been to Arcttic and Antarctica three times each and both are areas with unlimited photo oppurtunities.The perpetual daylight and often overcast skies provided the soft lighting which avoids high contrast. Polar bears in the North are hard to find bu tnext week we will be in Churchill ,Canada photographing polar bears. As you probably know, in the South penguins are plentiful and make great subjects.

Spectacular and breathtaking photo. 

Hi Josh. I love your work. I honestly love it!!! Your photographs make me want to be there so much! Life is beautiful and amazing there. I watched the video several times and paused it several other times hehehehe I just couldn't stop watching.   

 enjoyed looking at your work.  Thank you.

Added to my bucket list

I grew up in Churchill. Which tours do you have booked so far? I may be able to put you in contact with some locals to help you out a bit as the really busy/active time of year for the bears is typically a little later on in the season. I used to be a Tour operator for Great White Bear Tours after highschool.

What a privilage to be able to view your beautiful images and video.  Thank you so much for sharing them.