BE WILD:  Paul Souders, Arctic Solitaire: A Photographer's Solo Quest for the Perfect Polar Bear

BE WILD: Paul Souders, Arctic Solitaire: A Photographer's Solo Quest for the Perfect Polar Bear

For more than thirty years, Paul Souders’ adventure travels as a professional photographer have taken him across seven continents. He had often dreamed of photographing the Arctic’s most iconic animal, the polar bear, in its natural habitat. Turning his camera on these magnificent and utterly wild creatures became his unlikely quest—an obsession really. From his memoir Arctic Solitaire, published by Mountaineers Books, Paul shares his stunning images and humorous, and sometimes white-knuckled, stories of setting out, battling Arctic storms, visiting isolated Inuit villages, and experiencing a few, truly magical days of wildlife and photo opportunities beyond his imagination. Join us as we welcome Paul to the BeWild Speakers Series.
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Paul Souders | Arctic Solitaire: A Photographer's Solo Quest for the Perfect Polar Bear

Photographer Paul Souders considered himself a lucky guy. He traveled the world and got paid to take pictures. Yet at age fifty he seemed an unlikely explorer. Recently married, he was leading a generally contented life as an urban homebody, ending most days with a cold martini and a home-cooked meal. So how did he find himself alone aboard a tiny boat, enduring bad weather and worse cooking, while struggling to find his way across more than a thousand miles of Hudson Bay?

It was all for a picture. He dreamed of photographing the Arctic’s most iconic animal, the polar bear, in its natural habitat. It was a seemingly simple plan: haul a 22-foot fishing boat northeast a few thousand miles, launch, and shoot the perfect polar bear photo. After an inauspicious start and endless days spent driving to the end of northern Canada’s road system, he backed his C-Dory, “C-Sick”, into a small tributary of Hudson Bay.

Battered by winds and plagued by questionable navigation, Paul slowly motored C-Sick north in the hopes of finding the melting summer ice that should be home to more than a thousand polar bears. He struggled along for weeks, grounding on rocks, hiding from storms, and stopping in isolated Inuit villages, until finally, he found the ice and the world was transformed. The ice had brought hundreds of walrus into the bay and dozens of polar bears arrived to hunt and feed. For a few magical days, he was surrounded by incredible wildlife photo ops. He was hooked.

These stories and more are detailed in his new book Arctic Solitaire: A Boat, A Bay, and the Quest for the Perfect Bear published by Mountaineers Books.

Doors - 6:00pm
Show Starts - 7:00pm

General Admission - $12
At the Door - $12

Online ticket purchase available here.

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