Adam Boulton
A Dramatic, Breathtaking Sight

By Mostyn Pryce
Sky News senior cameraman


The icebreaker at anchor off the North Canadian coast - our home for the next 10 days - was a sight for sore eyes following our five flights from London.

Although in the Arctic Circle, conditions were kind with the summer temperatures mostly staying above freeezing.

We had travelled light with just one large flight case of kit, the tripod and Sky News' latest format high definition camera.

We filmed with the camera switched to HD, and used a polarizing filter to ensure high contrast pictures with good colour saturation.  This was important in order to portray the beauty of the shimmering ice and vivid blue skies.

The resulting images were stunning.
The first five days at sea were an exercise in patience as the waters were clear of any ice. We weren't too disappointed however as this was indeed part of the story. Global warming appears to be causing ice free waters for longer periods each year.

On the sixth day however, the seascape was transformed into a brilliant-white patchwork of small ice 'islands'.

The semi-solid surface covered the ocean from horizon to horizon. It was a dramatic, breathtaking sight.

We took full advantage and filmed many hours of material over the next two days.

Eventually polar bears were spotted moving slowly across the ice ahead of us. The ship slowed but remained a good half mile from the bears.

At this distance the lens needed to be at the end of its zoom range.

This caused a little image shake periodically due to the shuddering of the powerful ship as it struck the ice. 
But plenty of good 'footage' of the bears was possible, enabling Sky News to show a report based entirely on the plight of these magnificent animals.

Another highlight of the expedition was a visit to the graves of men from the doomed Franklin expedtion of 1845.

Beechey Island was an eerie, desolate outpost of 19th century exploration. Its forlorn loneliness was spellbinding and provided us with some powerfull, atmospheric pictures with which to illustrate the history of the North West Passage.

See pictures of Mostyn's ice adventure by clicking here

Written by Sky News, 22/08/2007


You mention a HD camera,however the footage was not shown in HD.Any chance of a Sky News HD?

Just Like , the polar bear is the largest land carnivore and has a reputation as the only animal that actively hunts humans. Whilst they are usually solitary, except during the breeding season, (like myself), Polar bears are most active at night.

Yet the “Enigma” deepens, as they are also strong swimmers, well insulated with fat, whilst their nostrils close and their ears are held close to their head when underwater,
Nevertheless, as “The Snow of The Sahara” melts many a mind, you only get the vey best from

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