Small ship polar adventures since 1999 +46 31 333 17 30
Search My

Photography and binoculars

For many of us, photography is a natural part of travel. Some of you are professionals, but for those of you who are not, we have summarised the most basic recommendations regarding photography. Please also note our policy regarding UAVs/Drones and read more about what binoculars to bring.


Equipment: Whatever type of camera you use, make sure it is working properly before you leave home. If you have a new camera or have a camera that has not been used for a while, it is a good idea to take some pictures before travelling to ensure that it works properly. Also remember to bring your camera manual.

Batteries: Most camera problems on expeditions, especially in cold climates, are due to bad batteries.  For this reason, please bring extra camera batteries with you, even if the one in your camera is new. 

Memory cards: Rule of thumb is to bring more memory cards than you believe you will need. 

Tripods: If you are serious about getting excellent shots, a tripod or monopod gives you more potential but it certainly is not mandatory

Maintenance: Particles or water can easily stick on the camera lens, which can reduce the image quality. For this reason, we recommend you bring a microfiber cloth designed for optics.

Storage: Cameras are in general sensitive to water, moisture and shock. A bag/backpack for protection is recommended.

Lenses: If you are truly passionate about photography, it is best to have two cameras: one for landscapes
(16 mm to 70 mm) and the other for wildlife (from 70 to 400 mm). Good lenses are: 16-35 mm,
24-70 mm, 70-200 mm and 100-400 mm or similar.

Respect distance: When photographing, do not approach wildlife to the point where it becomes frightened, or in ways that cause them to alter their behavior. Always respect the minimum distance of 5 meters (16 feet), and get close only via a zoom lens. Telephoto is the best way to capture wildlife.

To avoid the introduction and spread of pathogens and non-native species in the fragile polar and sub-polar environment, do not kneel, sit or lay on the ground or on snow, or leave any equipment on the ground or snow. Before and after a landing, ensure that all your clothing and equipment, anything that may come into contact with the Antarctic environment, is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.

Be considerate of other passengers who may wish to capture the same shot as you.

And most importantly, remember to occasionally set your camera aside and simply enjoy the spectacular scenery and wildlife!


Please note! Regarding unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), commonly known as a drone: Unless otherwise agreed, PolarQuest do not allow any general use of UAVs by passengers. 


Good binoculars are highly recommended to enhance your travel experience. All binoculars are listed by power and brightness, e.g., 8x32 or 10x50. The first number indicates magnification and the second the diameter of the front lens. We recommend at least 8x-power binoculars, with 8x32 or 10x42 being good choices.

“Wide-field” binoculars allow you to see a wider area making it easier to spot wildlife. 

Compact models, in the 8x25 range, can fit in a pocket and are very lightweight, but sacrifice brightness and field of vision. 

Rubber coated models are generally more shock resistant and some of these are also waterproof.