Polar frame

Dmitry Kokh's Image

Dmitry Kokh (Russia) shares an otherworldly encounter of polar bears taking over an abandoned settlement.

As Dmitry's boat approached the small, uninhabited island of Kolyuchin in the remote Russian Far East, the last thing he expected to see was a figure at the window of a house. Gazing through his binoculars, Dmitry was astonished to see more than 20 polar bears exploring the ghost town. It was too dangerous to land, so he used his low-noise drone to document the surreal experience.

Following the break-up of the USSR in the early 1990s the small settlement on the island was abandoned and the weather station closed. Polar bears are extremely inquisitive and will often investigate abandoned places in search of food. With climate change reducing sea ice, it is becoming increasingly difficult for polar bears to hunt, pushing them to move closer to human settlements to scavenge.

Behind the lens

Dmitry Kokh

Dmitry Kokh


Dmitry is a wildlife and underwater photographer who tries to capture decisive moments in nature and to show wildlife contextually in its environment. He enjoys the process of creating memorable and beautiful pictures and hopes that they will inspire people in some way to care about and conserve the natural world. His approach is borne out of his enthusiasm and energy - full immersion, staying innovative and focusing on storytelling.

Image details

  • DJI Mavic 2 Pro
  • Hasselblad L1D-20c
  • 1/320 sec at f3.2  •   ISO 100
  • Kolyuchin Island, Chukotka, Russia
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