About the photographer

Stuart Thomson is a biologist and nature photographer living and working in Svalbard.


“I love photographing Svalbard. It’s the ever changing conditions; the midnight sun; the polar night; the aurora borealis; the never ending sunsets; the mountains; the glaciers; the fjords; and that magic feeling you get when you’re out there that makes Svalbard such an undeniably amazing place to be.”

Stuart published his first book, Long Year Spitsbergen, in 2016 containing almost 300 pages of Svalbard nature images from throughout the year.


View more of Stuart's photos on his website.

The male king eider is one of the most beautiful birds to visit Svalbard during the summer. © Stuart Thompson
An Arctic fox on the prowl in summer coat. © Stuart Thompson
A black-legged kittiwake foraging in front of a glacier. Glacial meltwater can cause osmotic shock in plankton close to glacier fronts, making for easier pickings for surface feeding birds. © Stuart Thompson
The Svalbard reindeer (the smallest subspecies of reindeer) is the most northern living mammalian herbivore on the planet, and has lived on the Svalbard archipelago for at least 5000 years. © Stuart Thompson
Northern fulmars in flight over coastal waters around Spitsbergen - the largest of Svalbard’s islands. © Stuart Thompson
A curious young bearded seal is interested in our camp on the shore. © Stuart Thompson
Glaucous gulls are opportunistic predators and scavengers. Seen here in the pack ice north of Svalbard. © Stuart Thompson
The Svalbard rock ptarmigan is the only bird to overwinter on land in Svalbard. Seen here at the end of August as the white winter plumage starts to develop. © Stuart Thompson
A common eider chick, just a few days old, taking a peek at the world from beneath the relative safety of its mothers wing. © Stuart Thompson
The Arctic fox can decimate common eider colonies. Seen here with a mouthful of common eider chicks. © Stuart Thompson
This mother leads her chicks towards the sea, where they will be safe from the Arctic fox… © Stuart Thompson
…but will still face a threat from airborne predators like the glaucous gull. 2 glaucous gulls are seen here fighting over a common eider chick kill. © Stuart Thompson
An Arctic tern in the midnight sun. These birds undertake the longest migrations in the animal kingdom, flying the equivalent of 3 return journeys to the moon over their lifetime. © Stuart Thompson
A curious encounter between a Svalbard reindeer and a Svalbard ptarmigan. © Stuart Thompson
An impression of northern fulmars in the Barents sea. © Stuart Thompson
A group of walruses in the north of Svalbard. Numbers in Svalbard are increasing again after hundreds of years of hunting almost drove them to extinction in the Norwegian Arctic. © Stuart Thompson
A polar bear hunts for seals on a frozen fjord. © Stuart Thompson
Summer ends and the polar day period draws closer to a close. The sun gets closer to the horizon with every passing day and the light on the landscape can be magnificent. © Stuart Thompson