On the frustrating days, the days when he’s been sitting alone with his camera for 70 hours in the wilderness with nothing but his own thoughts to distract him, Nansen Weber remembers the core goal, and trusts that the next day will be better.
That optimistic attitude and perseverance is part of the reason Weber is today one of the foremost drone videographers in the Canadian Arctic.
His recently released video, “Conquer the Arctic,” features a selection of Weber’s shots from the 2016 summer season.
“This video is basically six months of work boiled down into five minutes,” Weber says. “I’ve spent so much time in the Arctic and I’ve seen a lot of changes. The tundra is getting greener. I hope that when people see my videos, it intrigues and encourages them enough to inform themselves a bit more [about the North]."
Although Weber spent much of his childhood in the Arctic, working and taking pictures at his parents’ lodges on Somerset Island, he didn’t get his first drone until about three years ago. Drone photography had been gaining popularity in more southern areas, but Weber says no one had really been doing it up north. Within ten minutes of trying out his new toy, Weber crashed the drone—which, in the north, must be maneuvered in full manual mode due to spotty satellite connection and 40 kilometre-per-hour winds—into the middle of a river. He’s gotten better since then, and has been thus rewarded with extremely rare and beautiful footage of narwhals, belugas, polar bears and even the ever-elusive wolverine.
“It’s definitely not easy,” Weber says, “but it’s all part of the journey. Every moment and encounter is special.”