f11 Magazine – Issue# 37 Cover Photograph and Feature Article ‘Devoured by the Desert’

The latest issue, No #37 of f11 Magazine ‘For Photographers and Aficionados’ has just been released and features an article and portfolio of photographs of mine from Namibia in Africa as well as some of the winning photographs from this years Australian Professional Photography Awards.

f11 has quickly become one of the most highly regarded digitally published contemporary photography magazines in the marketplace and I am extremely pleased that this is the second time I have had a portfolio of my photography featured in the magazine. It is also the second time one of my photographs has made the cover. You can read the previous article ‘Dawn till Dusk’ in Issue #4. When it comes to magazines, the cover shot is always the crown jewel and its a great honour to be able to call this issue my own for the second time. You can read f11 online or download a PDF copy free of charge from the f11 website. You can also click on the image below for a PDF extract.f11-CoverFrom the f11 Website: f11 is a FREE digital magazine. Presented in a page flip format, the magazine is published eleven times each year. Read by tens of thousands all over the world, f11 is for professional and enthusiast photographers, designers and creative people working with images, as well as buyers and collectors of photography. Each issue is also available for download as a PDF file. Did I mention its FREE?

Read more.. Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

Blog Update and Email Subscriptions – September 2014

Live-Books who host this blog have recently completed a large update to the back end of the website as part of some scheduled maintenance. If you have been a subscriber to my blog in the past via email you will need to re-subscribe if you wish to continue to receive updates. To re-subscribe all you need do is to enter your email in the Subscription Box on the left and press the ‘Subscribe Me’ button. You will then continue to receive updates automatically in your in-box.

Read more.. Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

Australian Geographic Magazine Feature Winning APPA Photographs

Australian Geographic magazine is featuring the wining photographs on their website for the Science, Environment and Nature and Travel categories from The Australian Professional Photography Awards earlier this month. From the Australian Geographic Website:

Photographers Nick Rains and Joshua Holko, who are regular Australian Geographic contributors, have been named by Canon to be the best of the best for 2014.

Joshua Holko has been awarded the 2014 AIPP Australian Science Environment; Nature Photographer of the Year

Nick Rains has been awarded the 2014 AIPP Australian Travel Photographer of the Year

Judging for the awards was conducted over three days at the Digital Playground, which was held last weekend at Luna Park, Sydney. Thousands of images were entered and each image was scored out of 100.

“The Canon AIPP APPAs are the forefront of creative photography and, in essence, they reset the boundaries of expression through images,” said Australian Institute of Professional Photographers (AIPP) Executive Officer, Peter Myers.  “The competition is stronger than ever and saw more than 2,790 entries in total”.

2014 marks the 38th year of the Australian Professional Photography Awards (APPAs). The Awards are open to all Australian and overseas professional photographers. In addition to an overall winner, entries are also judged in sub-categories covering a range of specialisations.

You can view a gallery of the winning images at the Australian Geographic Website.


Australian Professional Photography Awards: Science, Environment and Nature Category Winner 2014

Australian Professional Photography Awards: Science, Environment and Nature Category Winner 2014


Read more.. Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

Manningham Leader Newspaper Feature September 2014

My local newspaper, the Manningham Leader, ran a small feature this week on my recent win in the Science, Environment and Nature Category at the 2014 Australian Professional Photography Awards.

Read more.. Monday, September 29th, 2014

Digital Photographer Magazine Issue #149 – Natural Wonders Feature

The UK based magazine, Digital Photographer, interviewed me back in June / July this year and subsequently ran a feature article on my photography titled ‘Natural Wonders’. The article appeared in issue #149 and you can now download a PDF copy of the article HERE or by just clicking on the image below. Digital Photographer magazine is available to purchase through the i-Tunes store or directly from the Digital Photographer website.The last few weeks have been an absolute whirlwind so I am currently taking a few days off  up in the Victorian High Country with my family to catch up on some rest and relaxation. I hope to get some time over the next few days to finish the trip report from the two Iceland workshops I led this summer as well as the expedition report from my trip to Greenland. Both of these trips were remarkable and I am looking forward to sharing some images and experiences from the time in Iceland and Greenland.

In just under a month I will be heading to South America in preparation for a twenty-one day South Georgia and Antarctica expedition experience with Andy Biggs. At the conclusion of this expedition I am taking a couple of weeks for a private photographic trek with some friends through the Argentinian side of Patagonia. I spent some time on the Chile side of Patagonia last year and I am looking forward to the contrast of visiting the Argentinian side. I will then led a second twelve day Antarctica expedition just prior to Christmas to the Antarctic Peninsula. Time permitting I hope squeeze in a quick ten days in Iceland (prior to leaving for South America and Antarctica at the end of October) in a couple of weeks time to photograph the fissure volcano currently erupting north of the Vatnajökull ice-cap. I had hoped to be in Iceland when the volcano began erupting last month, but had to depart a few days prior to the eruption to lead the expedition to Greenland. I had camped out with my friend Antony near the giant ice-cap in the hope the volcano would erupt whilst we were in prime position. As luck would have it we missed the eruption by just a few days. Photographing this particular eruption is somewhat problematic at the moment as access to the eruption site is extremely restricted. The fissure is currently ejecting a huge amount of sulphur dioxide that can make the volcano quite dangerous to approach at ground level depending on the prevailing winds. Currently the volcano is best viewed from the air and this is how I hope to photograph it (assuming it is still erupting when I arrive).

In the meantime I still have more than seven thousand photographs to sort through, edit and process from my time in Iceland and Greenland as well as several speaking engagements and print workshop commitments to complete before I can even consider leaving for the volcano in Iceland. In addition, my friend Antony and I have literally terabytes of video footage to sort through from our experience in Greenland this year that we hope to share over the coming months.

I also want to share the very exciting news that I have just appointed Abraham Joffe and his crew from Untitled Film Works to film a second Polar Photography Expedition Experience next year. If you have not seen the video we produced last year in the Arctic in Greenland and Svalbard you can watch it online HERE. We will be filming the experience next year on a 6k RED Epic Dragon system as well as several Canon 1DC Cinema Cameras. I will have more to say about this new production over the coming months. Lastly, I also have some exciting announcements I will be making here on my blog over the coming weeks in relation to future workshops and expeditions. Stay tuned for those details in a future post.

Read more.. Friday, September 26th, 2014

Canon Higher Resolution Sensors are Coming in the "Very Near Future"

I don’t normally make blog post entries relating to rumours and information about  future cameras and sensors that are as yet vapourware. There is already lots of information and rumours on the internet and we really don’t need yet another rumour site. However, this instance is somewhat unique as the information comes directly from a Canon Executive and it is to my knowledge the first real tangible communication from Canon about a future high resolution sensor being unveiled soon.

Masaya Maeda – Managing Director and Chief Executive, Image Communication Products Operations at Canon was interviewed at the recent Photokina in Germany and had this to say when asked about higher resolution sensors in future Canon cameras.

Currently no Canon camera offers more than 22MP. Do your DSLR customers ask for higher resolution?

“Yes. We know that many of our customers need more resolution and this is under consideration. In the very near future you can expect us to show something in terms of mirrorless and also a higher resolution sensor.”

What does “In the very near future” mean?

Well, it could mean anything from a week to six months or possibly even a year so there really isn’t much here that you can take to the bank. Suffice to say it is at least nice to see confirmation that a higher resolution sensor will be soon unveiled.

Personally, I am not holding my breath. Whilst more pixels would be nice for certain applications, the Canon 1DX does everything I need at the moment (in fact, I just ordered a second one) and remains the single best DSLR I have ever used to date. Thats a comment you can take to the bank.

Read more.. Thursday, September 25th, 2014

Testimonial from Dan Dill – Iceland Ultimate Summer Workshop 2014

”Hi Josh, Well, what an exceptional experience with you and Daniel this has been. I fear I am now spoiled for all other workshops by comparison. It has been a great pleasure to digest all of my photographs over these many weeks since Iceland. Thank you so much for the wonderful memories and incredible experience.” Dan Dill

Read more.. Saturday, September 20th, 2014

Outdoor Photographer Magazine – Antarctica: What's in my Bag?

Outdoor Photographer magazine are running a multi-issue (six + issues) feature on the expedition I am leading this November to South Georgia Island and Antarctica with Andy Biggs.  This series of feature articles is sponsored by my good friends and manufactures of my preffered camera bags – Gura Gear. The fourth part of the new series is featured in the brand new October 2014 issue. Subsequent issues will include what leads on from South Georgia and Antactica and then at the conclusion of the expedition there will be an issue reporting on our experiences along with a number of photographs taken during the expedition. You can click on the image below to Download a Larger Version of the second article.  Be sure to Subscribe to Outdoor Photographer magazine for the follow up issues. Subscriptions are available in single issue or multi-issue in Print, iPad, Zinio and more. Just choose your favourite reading medium, subscribe and enjoy. The South Georgia and Antarctica expedition is now sold out, but I will soon be announcing a future expedition to both the Weddell Sea and South Georgia Island. If you are interested in joining us please Contact Me with your expression of interest.

Read more.. Saturday, September 20th, 2014

September Photograph of the Month: Super Moon at Landmannalaugar

One of the most anticipated and exciting events of my last trip to Iceland was the scheduled super moon that I had hoped would coincide with clear skies whilst I was in the highlands of Iceland. As luck would have it we were blessed with absolutely perfect conditions and just about ideal light under the midnight sun. My friend Antony and I hiked up to the top of one of Landmannalaugar’s highest peaks where we were able to watch and photograph the rising super moon set against the incredible rhyolite mountains with spectacular light. I have lost track of the number of times I have been to this location now – but this was only the second time I have ever experienced such magical light in the highlands.

Read more.. Friday, September 19th, 2014

APPA 2014: Overall Winner Science, Environment & Nature Photographer of the Year and Awarded Australian Institute of Professional Photography Master Photographer Honour

This weekend saw the running of the annual AIPP (Australian Institute of Professional Photography) APPA (Australian Professional Photography Awards) awards in Sydney. These awards are the highlight of the calendar year in Australia in competition terms and are eagerly looked forward to by many (myself included). In fact, they are widely regarded as being at the very top of the pyramid in professional photographic circles. There is something very special about the APPA awards and it’s more than just the kudos that comes with receiving an award – its the incredible standard of work across all categories every year that never ceases to impress and amaze. If you have never checked out one of the annual APPA award books I encourage you to do so (they can be ordered online from the AIPP). They are are a wonderful source of inspirational photography. There is a palpable buzz that comes with the opening of the first days judging at APPA and a drum beat that rises to fever pitch as each day progresses. There are moments of incredible elation and moments of crushing defeat. It can be an emotional roller coaster and whilst its not healthy to become too emotionally invested one can’t help but ride the roller coaster of ups and downs.

If you want to see where the bar is set for world class photographic images and prints you need look no further than APPA. Every year the bar is continually raised that much higher in terms of the standard of work entered. I admit to being a bit of a nervous wreck during the APPA judging. The spine-tingling anticipation of having my work scrutinised for any minutia by my peers gets my heart racing. It’s not even the fear of scoring poorly that puts me on edge; its something far less tangible that I can’t quite put my finger on. If you have never entered or attended the APPA awards that probably sounds a little strange, but for those of you who have entered before you will know exactly what I am talking about. Its a special competition and quite honestly its not for the faint of heart. It’s never wise to take these things too seriously, but on the other hand, APPA is the standard by which professional photographers are judged against each other and is considered to showcase the highest level of photography so one can’t help but become emotionally involved.

This was a massive year for me as I entered APPA after winning multiple categories in the Victorian State Awards including Creative Photographer of the YearScience Environment and Nature Photographer of the YearHighest Scoring Print of the Year and overall title of Victorian Professional Photographer of the Year. There is a hefty weight of expectation (even if it is self imposed) that comes with those awards that carries over into APPA so I felt even more nervous than usual when my first print turned around for judging.

For those of you unfamiliar with APPA you can read my previous blog post HERE about how the system operates. The four prints (the maximum you are allowed to enter) I chose to enter this year were my highest scoring prints at state level and I entered them into the Science, Environment and Nature Category. At state level they scored 2 Gold Awards and 2 Gold with Distinctions and thats about as good as one could ever hope to score. So, I was ecstatic to receive a Silver Award, a Silver with Distinction and two Gold Awards for my four entries this year at APPA. All four entries were printed on my favourite fine art paper – Moab Somerset Museum Rag. You can watch a video of the judging of the three highest scoring prints online by clicking on the image below.The culmination of these four awards provided more than the necessary points to also receive the coveted and highly sought after ‘Master of Photography’ ribbon from the AIPP.  This award requires the accumulation of not less than ten points in no more than five years after receiving an Associateship Award and its no easy feat to achieve. I had set myself a goal of achieving this in four years and I am pleased to say I managed it in just three years. In fact, I already have several excess points in the bank toward my first Master of Photography Gold Bar. You can read about the honours and points system on the APPA website.

I was even more ecstatic to subsequently learn at the awards dinner last night (which unfortunately I could not attend in person due to print workshop commitments) that not only did I receive multiple Gold and Silver award scores for my prints at National level as well being awarded a Master of Photography by the AIPP but that I also won the overall category and award for 2014 AIPP Canon Professional Science, Environment and Nature Photographer of the Year. This was only the second time I have ever entered this category and taking out the overall title is a huge thrill and honour. It was also a great honour to learn that I took out the highest scoring print in this category – an honour that resonates deeply with my love of the craft of photographic print making.
APPA – Silver with Distinction Award ‘Bear Reflections’

APPA – Gold Award ‘Epic Sense of Scale’APPA – Silver Award ‘Glacial Delta’APPA – Gold Award ‘March of the Penguins’

With APPA done and dusted for 2014 and my goal of achieving Master of Photography completed, along with being the overall winner of the Canon 2014 Professional Science, Environment and Nature Photographer of the Year as well as highest scoring print in the category I am now planning to take a short term hiatus from competitions and focus on my book projects that are currently overdue for completion. I hope to have more to say about the first of these over the coming weeks.

Read more.. Tuesday, September 16th, 2014