Extraordinary Vision Magazine : Objective Editing of Your Photography

The latest issue number #32 of Extraordinary Vision magazine features an article I recently penned on Objective Editing and the importance of this skill as a photographer. You can download the article by clicking on the image below. Extraordinary Vision is a free magazine (and a fabulous resource) available for mobile devices and can be downloaded from iTunes or Google Store.ExtraodinaryVisionCover

Read more.. Monday, October 5th, 2015

October Photo of the Month Winner – Erica Serena

Congratulations to the tenth print winner ‘Erica Serena’ for the photograph of the month for October 2015: ‘Vanishing Point’.

What Erica said: Wow… This is stunning and I’m just looking at it on my phone! I can only imagine the detail in this as a print. Absolutely gorgeous!_MG_1187-EditCongratulations Erica (and thank you for the wonderful comment!), your print will be sent to you within the next week or two. Keep an eye out on my blog for the next print giveaway with the November photograph of the month. Remember the best way to get instant updates is to subscribe via email.

Read more.. Saturday, October 3rd, 2015

Photo of the Month October – Vanishing Point – Win a Fine Art Print!

The photograph of the month for October 2015 was taken in August this year on my Kingdom of the Ice Bear Expedition (full trip report coming soon – along with a new ‘experience’ video) and was shot in the very early hours of the morning under the Midnight Sun at roughly 81º North. The high Arctic is an incredible place for landscape photography and in this instance we were very fortunate to have some fantastic cloud in combination with some wonderful sea ice. The small hours of the morning often offer the best light in the Arctic summer and this evening was no exception. This was one of the first photographs I made in the Arctic with Canon’s new 5DSR 50 mega pixel camera and I have to say the resulting resolution and detail offered by such a high resolution sensor is nothing short of astounding._MG_1187-EditDon’t forget! You can win a free 13″ x 19″ Fine Art Print of this photograph including shipping anywhere in the world. All you need do is to be the first to comment on this post on the home page with your thoughts on why you like this photograph or why you would like to own a print of the image and then share the post with your preferred social media outlet.

Read more.. Friday, October 2nd, 2015

Weddell Sea Expedition February 2016 – SOLD OUT

I am excited to announce that my new expedition to the Weddell Sea, Antarctica  in February next year is now sold out. Renowned as the wild side of Antarctica,  the Weddell sea is famous for its gigantic tabular sized icebergs and incredibly rugged landscape. The Weddell sea is an area of Antarctica rarely accessible due to sea ice conditions and our intention is to explore and photograph this rarely visited wild side of Antarctica. We will be using an ice-hardened expedition class ship ‘Polar Pioneer’ so we can push quite a lot of ice safely; which will enable us to get much further south than most vessels.

We will sail across the Bransfield Strait to Antarctic Sound on our journey toward the Weddell Sea. Antarctic Sound is home to literally monolothic tabular icebergs that break off the Antarctic ice shelf and float up out of the Weddell Sea. There are incredible photographic opportunities in this area and we will stop to take advantage of spectacular tabular icebergs as we encounter them. We then plan to travel down the east side of the peninsula as deeply as we can penetrate into the sea ice.Pool and Penguin at Sea in SnowstormIf you missed out on this expedition and are interested in travelling and photographing in Antarctica I will soon be announcing a new seventeen day expedition to the great white continent slated for November 2016. This new expedition will be limited to just 48 participants and will include a new itinerary. I am not quite ready to start taking bookings yet, but if you would like to be amongst the first to reserve your place you can register your interest now by dropping me an email (no obligation at this point). More details to come soon.

Read more.. Thursday, September 24th, 2015

Firmware for Canon EOS1DX – Version 2.08 Release

Canon have today released new firmware for the Canon EOS1DX Camera. I don’t often post this kind of news to my blog, but as the Canon EOS 1DX is my primary camera and the main camera for many others I know, I felt it news worth sharing. This bug fix is not something I have personally ever experienced on either of my Canon EOS1DX cameras, but if you do have this custom function set in your camera this would be a worthwhile update.Canon1Dx

Firmware Version 2.0.8 incorporates the following fix.

  • Fixes a phenomenon which occurs when the “Shutter button half-press” menu item, configured in “C.Fn5: Operation” > “Custom Controls Menu”, is set to metering start only; depending on when the shutter button is half-pressed, it may initiate AutoFocus.

Firmware Version 2.0.8 is for cameras with firmware Version 2.0.7 or earlier. If your camera’s firmware is already Version 2.0.8, it is not necessary to update the firmware. The firmware update takes approximately seven minutes.

Download Firmware 2.0.8 for the Canon EOS-1D X (Canon USA)

Read more.. Wednesday, September 16th, 2015

Iceland the Highlands 2015 Workshop Report

In August this year I lead a new workshop into the highlands of Iceland with good friend Daniel Bergmann. Our Highland workshop for 2015 took a different approach to previous workshops in that we made the decision to specialise in just a few areas of Iceland that we regard as some of the most spectacular – in this case we decided to spend the majority of our time in the Highlands and several other key locations. This approach enabled us to spend more time in our chosen areas and gave us better opportunities for good light.

I am a strong advocate for spending as much time as possible in an area for photography and not moving from location to location too quickly. This approach both maximises the chances of really great light, but more importantly, it enables the photographer to slow down and get in tune with their surroundings and begin (hopefully) to see really strong compositions. It is actually exceedingly difficult to ‘hit the ground running’ in a new area and make great images right off the bat. More often than not the good images come after a period of time has elapsed and the photographer has had a chance to really tune into their surroundings.

As always, our daily itinerary was dictated by the weather and light to enable us to maximise any opportunities and to avoid any bad weather. As planning (and a little luck) would have it we were able to run with our originally planned itinerary without any severe bad weather.

Day One – We drove from the capital city of Reykjavik to Hrauneyjar in the highlands, our base for three nights. By using just a small number of good hotels and guests houses as bases throughout this workshop we were able to really maximise our time in the field. We spent the majority of our time in the Fjallabak Nature Reserve. Our first stop was the spectacular Hnausapollur crater (water filled explosive crater) near Landmannalaugar. We then drove further towards Landmannalaugar with a stop at Frostastadahals (by the lake Frostastadavatn). We also had a windy sunset session at Veidivotn._MG_2174-Edit12014Day Two – We were back in the Fjallabak Nature Reserve and now visited the gigantic volcanic crater Ljotipollur. We also walked up the rim and to the eastern side of it and photographed the Tungna glacial river. We then continued to Landmannalaugar where we hiked the Laugahringur trail up to Mount Brennisteinsalda. A few of us went all the way to the top, while most of us stayed below and photographed the amazing Laugahraun lava field and the many valleys surrounding Mount Blahnukur. This part of the highlands is one of my favourite areas for photography and offers really incredible opportunities.

Iceland-0534-Edit12015Day Three – We photographed Haifoss waterfall and its neighbor Granni (further inside the canyon) at the beginning of the day. We then went to the black sand area of Veidivotn crater lakes where we photographed right through until sunset._H9P3595-Edit-Edit12012
Day Four – We left our hotel in the highlands and travelled across the Sprengisandur route to get to the north of Iceland. We made a short scouting stop at Godafoss waterfall before heading to Lake Myvatn, where we were based at Hotel Reynihlid for three nights. We also photographed Godafoss the following morning at sunrise.Iceland-064012015Day Five – We visited the geothermal area at the base of Mt. Namafjall, called Namaskard or simply Hverir (an alternate name for the field). Later that day we visited the mighty Dettifoss waterfall in Jokulsargljufur canyon. First from the western side and then from the eastern side. From the east we also photographed Selfoss waterfall, further up river.
Iceland-0678-Edit22015Day Six – Aldeyjarfoss waterfall was on the morning menu and in the evening we hiked to the upper geothermal area at Namafjall to photograph the spectacular geothermal features where there are bubbling fumaroles and mud pits.
Day Seven – A travel day with a stop for a bit of shopping at Akureyri. We also visited Hvitserkur sea stack at the Vatnsnes peninsula in the afternoon during low tide.

Day Eight – Hraunfossar waterfall  and Barnafoss were our morning shoot. In the afternoon we visited the (still) fairly little known Bruarfoss waterfall. Then made a short stop at Geysir area (for the erupting geyser Strokkur) and ended with a fantastic meal at Lindin restaurant at Laugarvatn.Iceland-0758-Edit12015Day Nine – On our last day of photography we went into the Southern Fjallabak (Sydra- Fjallabak) area. We drove past the Eyjafjallajokull glacier and Einhyrningur mountain (the unicorn) before spending a bit of time on the edges of Markarfljotsgljufur canyon. We then drove further into Fjallabak and went as far as to the Innri-Emstrua river. We photographed mountains on the way that can be collectively said being at Emstrur.

Our 2015 Iceland Highlands workshop proved a really super trip that netted us some wonderful photographs from some of Iceland’s most amazing highland locations. Our time in the highlands this year proved successful and as such  I will be leading two workshops to the highlands of Iceland in summer next year. Both workshops will have an emphasis on different regions of the Highlands as well as different coastal areas. These are workshops that will get you off the usual tourist route and into some of the more inaccessible, interesting and least visited areas of Iceland. We all also visit a few of the iconic locations as well as a few tucked away gems we want to keep up our sleeves. If you have never been to Iceland before and want to avoid the tourist traps, or if you are an Iceland regular and want to get into new territory then these are the workshops for you.

The first workshop will run from August 14th until August 23rd 2016 and will focus on the Highlands and Northern area of Iceland.  We will also visit the precipitous basalt cliffs and rock formations of the Snaefellsness Peninusla, amongst many other areas. You can download a detailed itinerary and information PDF form for the first workshop HERE.The second workshop will run from the 28th of August until the 6th of September 2016 and will focus on the Southern Highlands and eastern coastal regions of Iceland. Our intention on this workshop is to focus on some of the lesser known highland areas in the southern part of Iceland. We will also visit the precipitous ocean lined mountains at Stokksnes as well as vising the spectacular Laki Volcano and the world famous Jokulsarlon glacial lagoon. You can download a detailed itinerary and information PDF form for the second workshop HEREWe have chosen August and early September for these workshops as this is an ideal time to visit Iceland for photography. The days are still long with Sunrise around 5 a.m. and sunset just before 10 p.m. The best light for landscape photography is therefore during the evening and early morning. This means that we may have an early dinner and then head out to photograph and sometimes be out before breakfast for a morning shoot. On cloudy days we’ll have a more normal routine. What we’ll do exactly on any given day will be decided around the weather and other conditions and there will be small changes to our original plan to make the most of our time in each area.

Cost: The cost for each workshop is $7,450 USD. There is no single supplement and single rooms will be provided wherever possible.

Duration: 11 days/10 nights for each workshop
Includes: Accommodation for ten nights in single rooms. Food and beverages (excluding alcohol). All transport during the duration of the workshop in a modified 4-wheel drive vehicle. All tuition and guiding services.
Excludes: International flights, travel insurance and alcohol
Group size: 12 per workshop

Due to initial bookings and expressions of interest there are now only a few places remaining. If you would like to register your interest for one of the remaining places or would like additional information please contact me at info@jholko.com.

Read more.. Tuesday, September 15th, 2015

September Photo of the Month Winner – Craig Elliot

Congratulations to the ninth print winner ‘Craig Elliot’ for the photograph of the month for September 2015: ‘New Zealand Trees’.

What Craig said: Surreal. An example of your work that takes the recipient into a story that must be completed by their imagination. Incredible image. I would love to own this print and display it in my office.NewZealand-2150-Edit12015

Congratulations Craig (and thank you for the wonderful comment!), your print will be sent to you within the next week or two. Keep an eye out on my blog for the next print giveaway with the October photograph of the month. Remember the best way to get instant updates is to subscribe via email.

Read more.. Tuesday, September 8th, 2015

Photo of the Month September – New Zealand Trees – Win a Fine Art Print!

The photograph of the month for September 2015 was taken on the very last day of my New Zealand South Island workshop this year and was shot during absolutely torrential rain just a few minutes after sunrise. This location in the South Island is a virtual unknown to photographers and one of my favourite locations to spring on participants during a workshop. This was the first time I had been there in such heavy rain and as it turned out the rain added a wonderful moody element to the photograph. I used a long exposure so as not to freeze the rain drops and to let the whole image take on a very moody ethereal nature.NewZealand-2150-Edit12015Don’t forget! You can win a free 13″ x 19″ Fine Art Print of this photograph including shipping anywhere in the world. All you need do is to be the first to comment on this post on the home page with your thoughts on why you like this photograph or why you would like to own a print of the image and then share the post with your preferred social media outlet.

Read more.. Monday, September 7th, 2015

Extraordinary Vision Magazine : Landscape & Nature Photography with Emotion Part 4

I returned home to Australia a couple of days ago after nearly two months in the Arctic where I was leading two expeditions to the Svalbard Archipelago for Polar Bears (Wild Polar Bears and Kingdom of the Ice Bear) and other Arctic wildlife and landscapes as well as an expedition to the spectacular Highlands of Iceland. I will have a full trip report and photographs to share from all three expeditions in the coming weeks once I have had a chance to catch up on all my office correspondence (and jet lag!). Later this year I will also have a new short video to share courtesy of the Untitled Film Works crew from the Kingdom of the Ice Bear Expedition. Untitled Film Works and I last worked together in 2013 on an expedition to Greenland and the Video from that expedition can be viewed online by clicking on the image below.polar-experience-videoIn the meantime, the latest issue number #31 of Extraordinary Vision magazine features Part Four of a series of Articles I recently penned on creating Landscape Photography with Mystery and Emotion. Part OnePart Two and Part Three can be downloaded here on my Blog or via iTunes in Issue 28Issue 29 and Issue 30. Extraordinary Vision is a free magazine (and a fabulous resource) available for mobile devices and can be downloaded from iTunes or Google Store.IMG_0064

Read more.. Saturday, September 5th, 2015

Wild South Georgia 2015 Expedition – Availability Price Drop

Further to the availability of two places on this years expedition to South Georgia Island in November in my previous post. Both places (twin-share cabin) are now being offered at a considerable discount by the participants who are unable to attend. This fifteen day photography expedition will depart from the Falkland Islands on the 7th of November 2015 and will conclude on the 21st of November. The expedition is singularly focused on providing the definitive South Georgia Island photography experience. Please drop me an email if you would like further details on how to take advantage of the discount being offered or to express your interest.SouthGeorgia

Read more.. Wednesday, August 19th, 2015