James Vedder Imaging

See deeply in order to better photograph; photograph in order to see more deeply. -JNV dates are upload dates

Jumping Polar Bears 1/1600s f/10 300mm. All photos copyrighted 2018

How often do you get to photograph bears this close in the wild? Answer: once in 83 years!

Arctic View 1566, 2018

These Arctic photos were taken from an exploratory/ research vessel in and around Svalbard, Norway [a.k.a. Spitzbergen] in late summer 2018.

Arctic View #1618

Arctic photos from Svalbard, Norway and north to 82 degrees, Aug-Sep 2018

"ey, he's taking pictures: smile!"

OK, now you on our right, raise your head just a little.... Bears #1712

Same bears #1710; f/10 1/1250 300mm

I do not know if they are husband and wife, mother and daughter...

Everywhere you go in the Arctic: gulls

Glacier meets sea. Arctic View 3142

Coastline along Svalbard, Norway; f/11 1/500 70mm ISO 400

Norse scene dwarfs Zodiak small boat

The Zodiak is a small fabric boat used to both explore the coastline and to make landings for explorations on foot. This one is only a fraction of the way to the glacier.

Four layers of texture

Now our Zodiak is closer to the glacier. We cannot draw too close since a "calving" ice break-off could create a wave that would endanger our craft. f/8 1/1600 170mm ISO 400

Glacier face-on

Arctic View 3185; notice the Sun is low and to our right. As it sets our lighting changes rapidly. The Sun in early September only "set" for 2-3 hours each day, so roughly 22-23 hours of daylight.

Farther along the coast

f/7.1 1/1250 ISO400 70mm; Nikon camera and lens

Dramatic Lighting at dusk

Technical info: 70mm lens for scope, 1/2500 sec to prevent motion blur, f/10 to increase depth of field, ISO 400 to balance the exposure. My Nikon D850 and D750 can shoot quite high ISO with no noticeable increase in digital "noise."

Calving iceberg lookout

Notice the changes in lighting between shots. Image #3213

A closer look

If you were a painter, what shades of blue would you need? Note the ice in the water ... and we in a small inflatable boat!

Arctic View #3239

Some chunks of floating ice were larger than others. They are called "icebergs" at about 15 feet or larger.

The Newborn Iceberg in Shadow.

Our guide piloting the Zodiak said that this 'berg broke off from sea iced at the bottom of the sea, hence the clean, jade-like surface. In another boat, the guide said the iceberg had rolled over. I cannot say as I was looking the other way. But I heard it "whoosh" and we all felt the "tidal" wave! Closer and we could be capsized.

Jade Iceberg! : -)

An amazing sight!! This 'berg broke off from the bottom of the fjord. See our essay on the color of icebergs.

Jade Iceberg Closeup View 2

Image #3368 (that info is for me). Taken with 300Mm lens, f/5.6 1/1250 ISO 400. Looks like jade to me! [all the glacier? iceberg shots were taken with a Nikon D850 camera and a Nikon 70-300mm lens. (Some folks want to know such things)

Jade Iceberg View 3

95mm focal length, 1/1600 sec; the aperture of f/4.5 was supposed to blur the background (I thought, before the shot). It did, a bit, but I find the background a distraction. But the 'berg looks like cut glass! A very rare sight.

"Jade" Iceberg View 4

I think it IS jade! :-)>

Jade Iceberg shot 3375

Once in a lifetime!

Blue Glacier Ice Cave. Wow!

f/4.8 1/3200 to stop small boat motion, focal length 135mm Nikon D850; for me: image #3449.

Bergs in the water

The Sun is low; could not get a sunlit view of floating ice as we are in the shadow of a mountain to our right.

Sunlit Sea Ice

1/4000 sec at 70mm

Reindeer on Svalbard (Spitsbergen)

On another day, our Zodiak took us to the edge of a mountainous terrain. This guy could not care less.

In context

This photo 112mm, previous 300mm.

Mountain hiking, inland

Can you spot the human figure (shows scale) Answer: Lower left

Similar view, nearer the top

I think this is a cool shot

How many variations of blue?


Sea ice.

Mt Ranier taken from Seattle

Ranier is in fact a volcano.


Guanaco [Lama]; quite common

Grazing Guanaco Gobbles Grass, Gulping

Patagonia, Torres del Paine

"Torres del Paine" in Spanish is the name of the National Park and also of mountain towers within this range of the Andes.


Arctic photos from Svalbard, Norway and north to 82 degrees, Aug-Sep 2018

Images for Essays

images, slides to insert into essays

Fine Art, Doges Palace, Venice

I arose early on a November morning to be first in line; I wanted the forms and textures of he arches and columns without tourists in the frame. Doges were nominated by the City Council to govern Venice.

Artwork by Hand Helps us See

A few sketches, drawings, paintings to help us see for photography


Selected photos from Philippines, Thailand, Japan, etc.


Mostly flowers and small animals


Light and Lighting

Guest Artists

The woman’s eyes blend into the dark around her. The artist is “photographer Sebastion Unrau,... Deutschland.” He started in 2015! Nicole S is a young woman not afraid to experimebnt and

Black and White

Images that emphasize texture, form etc.


Images of Africa, Asia, and Europe


The Shared Beauty of Nature


Images from Morocco, Kenya, Tanzania, Tunisia and other African countries.