For the first time, a wildlife photographer whose family has been frequenting the Arctic for three generations has captured 2,000 beluga whales in stunning video taken with a drone over the course of four weeks.
Nansen Weber, a photographer for Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge, was enlisted “to share some of the magical wonders of the Northwest Passage,” including the massive beluga whale congregation in Cunningham Inlet.
The footage he captured off Somerset Island is unique in that Weber is said to be the first to film Arctic wildlife with the use of a drone.
The beluga whales, congregating in one of the last beluga whale nurseries on Earth, is definitely magical from a bird’s eye view.
“This drone actually allowed me a new perspective of seeing what they’re doing,” Weber, 24, told the CBC News. “You can clearly see all the mothers and calves. You can see rubbing. They’re just having a huge party.”
Weber experimented with drones the past few years, but previous attempts to do this were doomed by the cold and fierce winds as drones weren’t meant for the harsh climes of the Arctic, he told CBC News. He crashed a few drones in the process.
But this last summer, Weber succeeded in not only capturing beluga whales, he also got footage of a polar bear and of the stunning scenery from this remote region, rarely seen by human eyes.
Of course, the beluga whales were his main focus.
“I think it’s important that people know that pristine places, like this beluga place, is one of a kind in the world,” Weber told CBC News. “It’s something that we should look into and hopefully save, because it might not be there in the future.”