2013 Readers' travel photography competition: winners' trip to Canada


Every wayfarer instinctively understands that travel can take them to a wonderful world of extraordinary adventure and education. The town of Churchill, on the shore of Hudson Bay in Manitoba, northern Canada, is a destination which I consider one of the photographic capitals of the world. This trip rewired my brain into thinking of ways to push my photography to the next level.

Lazy Bear Lodge

I stayed at Lazy Bear Lodge in Churchill, which arranged a full itinerary. The tundra tour took us deep into the wilderness, where I saw attractions, such as the wrecks of the Miss Piggy, a 1979 freight plane, and the mysterious MV Ithaca. These subjects have disrupted the beauty of the Churchill countryside and can now be used to develop some creative images.

An inukshuk stone figure built by Manitoba indigenous people

The experienced guides from Lazy Bear Lodge made me feel like I was part of Canada’s chronicle. I learned all about the town’s colourful and tragic history. I followed in the footsteps of Sir John Franklin, the intrepid sailor who battled for years through treacherous seas and freak weather conditions in search of the Northwest Passage.

The snowy owl is not nocturnal, so can be seen during daylight hours

On the water, I explored Hudson Bay, seeking out the polar bears frolicking in the rocks along the water’s edge, and kayaked among the beluga whales which congregate in their thousands at the mouth of the Churchill river. As a scuba diver and underwater photographer, the highlight of my trip was to swim with beluga whales and photograph wildlife I would otherwise never have experienced, such as snowy owls and huskies.

The trip gave my photography a new perspective and brought me experiences that will remain with me for a lifetime.

• The prize, organised by the Canadian Tourism Commission, was a six-night trip to Churchill, Canada, on Lazy Bear Lodge’s Ultimate Arctic Summer Adventure