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Meet the photographer who went face-to-face with a polar bear

Meet the photographer who went face-to-face with a polar bear

Award-winning photographer Amos Nachoum gets up close and personal with some of the world's most dangerous animals.

Meet the photographer who went face-to-face with a polar bear

Wildlife photographer Amos Nachoum is no stranger to dangerous situations. He’s faced great white sharks, gotten up close with crocodiles and witnessed a leopard seal hunting its prey.

But his latest expedition is perhaps his greatest challenge yet: to photograph a polar bear underwater.

Travelling to the Canadian Arctic, Nachoum’s journey is captured by filmmakers Dani Menkin and Yonatan Nir in the documentary Picture of His Life.

We spoke with Nachoum and the filmmakers ahead of the film’s premiere at the 2020 Doc Edge film festival on 16 June.

What draws you to wildlife and underwater photography?

Amos: At the time mid to late 70’s, few photographers were filming underwater.

I always was attracted to the challenge and it was my opportunity to contribute and curiosity for me to explore learn and grow.

Is it the adrenaline rush and danger that excites you about wildlife photography?

Amos: Adrenaline rush doesn’t always happen when you are with the wildlife; the rush often is a result of survival due to error I made.

Therefore there is the lesson to be patience with the wildlife, not aggressive or pushy and not to run away. I proved it many times with anaconda, nile crocodiles, great white sharks, leopard seals and polar bears too.

What did you learn from your Inuit guides in the Arctic?

Amos: The main thing how to read the tale of the clouds, the wind, the sound of the arctic. How to be patient, learn how to conserve energy and when you go out you go with all that you got.

I learned about equal sharing of food duty and play time. How much they love their land, respect it, and protecting the land and the wildlife.

How upset they are that white men do not understand them and making every effort to control them and change them.

Yonatan: I was amazed by the Inuit people, their humble connection to nature, their wisdom and patience.

What do you admire about Amos?

Yonatin: Amos is very good at dealing with fear and with uncertainty – especially in the wild.

He is very connected to nature. He has amazing patience. I also admire his decision to expose his story to the public. I know it wasn’t always easy for him.

Dani: Amos will go all the way to tell his story and spread his message. He is taking risks and see himself as a solder of Mother Nature.

In today’s environment what Amos has done and his life is something we had to tell, and we are so happy to bring it to life.

Picture of His Life screens at the 2020 Doc Edge film festival on June 16, 21 and 24. Visit docedge.nz to book your tickets. 

Visit pictureofhislife.com to learn more about the film. 

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