A Vancouver photographer and cinematographer's work featuring polar bears in Canada’s Arctic has been featured in National Geographic.
Martin Gregus spoke to Glacier Media during an interview while he was in Bristol and explains how the accomplishment is a dream come true.
“It was one of the most exciting moments in my life,” he says, adding it was “absolutely crazy.”
His work, which showcases a different side of polar bears in the summer months, has been catching the world's attention.
Gregus and a team of people he considers close friends travelled to Churchill, Man. to photograph the polar bears in the summer.
In 2021, Gregus won the Rising Star Portfolio Award at the Natural History Museum’s 2021 Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. The museum is located in London, England, and has been recognizing the world's best nature photography since 1965.
When Gregus, who calls Vancouver home, looks back on the last year, he is blown away by what he has achieved.
"I would say, all my goals basically got achieved this year that I had growing up. That’s funny to say, like all my goals. I'm 26 years old,” he says.
In July, his work was published in Geo France with a 20-page spread of his team's polar bear expedition. Then, in September, his work was displayed over eight pages in National Geographic.
"National Geographic was definitely one of those wow moments, and Geo France as well, because I grew up with it at our house (Geo France) and they were both the main reason I got into photography or wildlife photography in the first place. So it's been huge in that sense.”
This year, he also conducted his first independent art exhibit in Slovakia with his polar bear work.
“Polar bears are something that no one really saw in that country. So we've just been like non-stop media, non-stop people going to the gallery. It's been absolutely amazing,” he says.
Gregus doesn't just photograph animals in nature, but also Mother Nature.
In 2021, when British Columbia was hit with a series of atmospheric rivers and many people were forced to evacuate their homes, Gregus jumped in a helicopter with his lens and started documenting the damage to properties.
“I took a few messages from people that wanted me to take some video of their property to see if they could even get to it or what was left,” he says.
Homeowners were thankful, he says, to get a closer look of the unfortunate destruction.
The B.C. artist hopes to return to Vancouver soon.
Gregus explains he is working on some “really exciting projects,” but he can’t share any details yet.
“I just can't discuss them until they're out,” he says.
Once he's back home, he does plan on renting out a theatre in Vancouver to show one of his documentary films from the polar bear expedition. Hopefully, he says, before the end of the year.