I realised a few days ago whilst doing some ‘blog housekeeping’ that I had neglected to give one of my favourite photographs from Iceland ‘Photograph of the Month’ status. This photograph; which I titled ‘Highway to Hell’ was taken in the geothermal Namafjall region of Iceland and was travel photograph of the week over at National Geographic a few months ago. For me, this is one of my personal favourite photographs from Iceland as it portrays a landscape that is truly alien and highly evocative. A higher resolution version can be seen both on National Geographic’s website and on my portfolio website at www.jholko.com under Iceland.
Month: September 2011
ADOBE LIGHTROOM 3.5 FULL VERSION NOW AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD
• Additional camera support for over 20 new camera models including the Nikon Coolpix P7100, Olympus E-PL3 and Sony SLT-A77
• Corrections for issues introduced in previous versions of Lightroom 3
See the Read Me Notes in the download for a full list of new camera support and correction issues.
Edit – Update also available for Camera RAW to 6.5 Updates
ANTARCTICA PACKING LIST PART TWO – CLOTHING : 66 NORTH IS HEADED SOUTH
For the regular readers of my blog it will come as no surprise that I am a big fan of the 66 North brand of clothing from Iceland. It is therefore a fait accompli that 66 North is high on my packing list for Antarctica in November this year. For those of you who may be new to my site or have not yet become aware of this Icelandic brand of clothing allow me a moment to bring you up to speed. If you have spent any serious amount of time outdoors you will no doubt be well aware of brands such as The North Face, Patagonia, Mamut etc. These are staple brands amongst anyone who spends any time out in natures elements and many serious outdoor types (myself included) rely upon them. Well, 66 North fits right into this category; indeed in many ways (and certainly in my opinion) its better and in some areas a lot better.
I was quite excited when I first discovered 66 North clothing just over a year ago in Iceland. I new the moment I first picked up and slipped on one of their technical jackets that this was exceptionally well designed and manufactured clothing. I immediately purchased that Glymur Event jacket and it became my ‘go-to’ jacket during my Iceland trip. It has subsequently kept me warm and dry in the South Island of New Zealand in the dead of winter, Tasmania and the Victorian High Country. Everything about the brand exudes quality; from the choice of quality materials to the stitching to the embroided logo – this is extremely high quality clothing that many other manufacturers of outdoor clothing would do very well to pay attention to.
With my preferred brand of clothing established my specific outdoor clothing of choice for this trip to Antarctica consists of a base layer of 66 North 100% Marino Wool. This is then layered with a soft shell Polartec® Power Shield® jacket and pant with a 66 North eVENT® 3 Layer waterproof shell jacket and pant. This combination provides plenty of warmth as well as an extreme level of protection against wind and rain. It should see me warm and dry no matter what the weather in Antarctica. This combination of clothing will be suitable for standing on a ship deck at sea in inclement weather, to shooting amongst icebergs from zodiac to walking the shorelines of the Antarctic peninsula photographing penguins and leopard seals.
Packing List Base Layer
- 66 North Basar Crew Neck Marino Wool Top x 4
- 66 North Basar Marino Wool Hat x 1
- T-shirts x 6
- Socks and Jocks x enough
Packing List Mid Layer
- 66 North Eldja Soft shell Jacket x 1
- 66 North Glymur Soft shell Pants x 1
- North Face Apex Bionic Jacket x 1
- North Face Apex Elixir Jacket x 1
- North Face Paramount Peak Convertible Pants (My general travel, hiking and temperate weather pants) x 3
Packing List Outer Layer
- Seal Skinz Waterproof Gloves x 1 Pair
- Polar-Tech Glove Liners x 1 Pair
- 66 North Glymur Outer Shell Jacket x 1
- 66 North Glymur Outer Shell Pants x 1
- North Face Gore-Tex Vindicator II GTX Shoes x 1 Pair
- Gore-Tex Boots
- Xtra-Hand Khumbu Photo Vest (customised)
- toiletries and misc.
66 North is definitely at the top end of the price bracket in outdoor clothing and the above clothing represents a considerable investment. Especially when purchased here in Australia where we pay in Euro dollars when purchased online from 66 North’s own website. However, when you are standing in freezing weather, wind, rain or snow the price becomes irrelevant and all that matters is wether you can keep photographing despite the elements.
On top of the above Quark Expeditions (who are the expedition operator) will be supplying me with their own custom made fleece lined waterproof jacket and waterproof boots. I expect to use only the boots and will keep their jacket as a back up in case my own gear gets wet.
All of the above may not sound like much in the way of clothing for a three week expedition; however, the ship on which I am travelling (the Ocean Nova) has full laundry facilities; which means I can pack light on clothes (and heavy on camera gear).
SILVERSHOTZ 2011 PORTFOLIO ANNOUNCEMENT
I received notification a few days ago that my Iceland Portfolio has been selected to be part of the Silvershotz 2011 Portfolio Awards. Silvershotz is a contemporary fine art photography magazine that includes folios ranging from landscape to abstract, social documentary to still life. The magazine is produced in a one hundred page coffee table book and is distributed around the world to galleries, and collectors of fine photography. The book also includes news on upcoming exhibitions and gallery openings as well as auction reports.
ANTARCTICA 2011 PACKING LIST – PART ONE: CAMERA GEAR
I started a blog post about my packing list for the Antarctica expedition in November this year and quickly realised that it was going to be a very long list indeed. So, rather than try and squeeze it into a single post I am breaking up the list into different components to make it a bit more manageable. These lists are as much for my own reference as potential advise on what other polar travellers might consider taking. They are not completely exhaustive and I will continue to add to them as things occur to me or are otherwise suggested.
I am choosing to take both a Canon 1DS MKIII and a Canon 1D MKIV as my primary cameras for this trip. This gives me both a full frame 21.1 mega-pixel camera and 1.3 crop 16.1 mega-pixel camera capable of a blazing ten frames a second (for wildlife). Both of these cameras utilise the same battery system; which means I only need to take multiple of the same batteries; rather than multiples of different types. It also means I only need to take the one charger. Worst case scenario if my charger packs up I can always share with my room mate who also shoots a 1DS MKIII. Both these cameras are also all but waterproof and virtually indestructable. They should be right at home in Antarctica.
At first blush this is going to seem like quite a lot of gear (and indeed it is); but I don’t want to travel all the way to Antarctica and not have the lens I want to hand. So, I am taking pretty much everything except the proverbial kitchen sink. After much pondering I have decided not to take my High Definition Canon video camera. The mind and skill set required to shoot video is very different to still photography and experience has shown me that I struggle to shift gears into video mode when working in the field and I prefer to focus my efforts on my still photography first and foremost. The Canon S90 I am taking does have limited video capability and of course the 1D MKIV has amazing video capabilities should I change my mind or find myself in a situation where video is just a ‘must’.
I may not take the 35mm F1.4L even though it is included below as I can attain almost this focal length by putting the 24mm on the 1D MKIV with its 1.3 crop factor. If space and weight is becoming too much of an issue this will probably be the first lens I choose to leave behind. Likewise the 85mm F1.2L MKII’s focal range is already well covered in the 70-200mm F2.8L IS lens. The 85mm however has a creamy bokeh that I dearly love and it will be struggle not to take this lens with me. I have a few penguin portraits in mind and I think this lens would fit the bill nicely.
Amazingly all of this camera gear (except the tripod, laptop and accessories) fits into just my Gura Gear Kiboko Camera Bag and all of it will be taken as carry on luggage (except the tripod). If by chance you are not familiar with the Gura Gear line of camera bags then be sure to check them out – they are the best camera bags I have ever used and there are several previous posts on my Blog about them.
- Gura Gear Kiboko 30L Camera Bag
- Canon EOS 1DS MKIII 21.1 Mega-Pixel Full Frame Camera Body
- Canon EOS 1D MKIV 16.1 Mega-Pixel 1.3 Crop Camera Body
- Canon Back-Up Batteries for 1DS MKIII and a 1D MKIV x 3 (5 Batteries in total including those in the cameras)
- Really Right Stuff L Bracket for Canon 1DS MKIII
- Canon S90 Point and Shoot (For Happy Snaps)
- Canon 14mm F2.8L MKII Wide Angle Lens
- Canon 17mm F4L Tilt Shift Lens
- Canon 24mm F1.4L MKII Wide Angle
- Canon 35mm F1.4L Wide Angle Lens (From Borrow Lenses http://www.borrowlenses.com)
- Canon 50mm F1.2L
- Canon 85mm F1.2L MKII
- Canon 70-200mm F2.8L IS
- Canon 300mm F2.8L IS
- Canon 1.4X MKII Tele-Converter
- Canon Macro Extension Tube
- Canon Cable Release
- Bubble Levels x 2
- Waterproof Camera Covers x 2
- LEE Grad Filter Holder and Step-Up / Step-Down Rings
- LEE Grad Filter Pack with 1 / 2 /3 Stop Hard and Soft ND Grads
- Sing Ray 3 Stop Reverse ND Grad Filter
- Polarisers x 2
- Rocket Blower / Lens Tissue and Lens Cleaning Fluid / Sterile Wipes / Micro Fibre Cloth
- Zip Lock Bags (To protect cameras from rapid changes in temperature when coming in out of the cold)
- Gigabyes of Sandisk CF and SD cards *
- Gura Gear Chobe 24L Laptop / Camera Bag **
- MacBook Pro 17″ Laptop with Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop CS5
- Sandisk High Speed Card Reader
- 1 Terrabyte External FireWire 800 LACIE rugged Hard Drives x 2 for dual back-up
- 500 Gigabyte External FireWire 800 LACIE rugged Hard Drive for Time Machine
- Battery Charger for Canon 1DS MKIII and a 1D MKIV
- Battery Charger for Canon S90
- Laptop Power Power Plug Pack
- Iphone and Headset
- Arctic Butterfly and Sensor Loupe [EDIT ADDITION]
- Gitzo Tripod Bag
- Gitzo GT3530LSV 6 x Carbon Fibre Tripod
- Really Right Stuff BH-55 Full Size Ball Head with Quick Release Lever