PHASE ONE joins Antarctica Expedition 2013

I am very pleased to report that high end medium format camera manufacturer Phase One has signed on to join the expedition I am leading to Antarctica next November with Daniel Bergmann. Phase One are the world leaders in open platform medium format camera systems and produce what are widely regarded by many photographers as the finest and most reliable medium format digital camera systems available today. Kevin Raber, Vice President of Phase One PODAS workshops will be joining us for the duration of the expedition and will bringing a number of complete Phase One camera systems for everyone on the expedition to freely try and use throughout the trip. This is a truly extraordinary opportunity for all participants to experience the very best medium format digital system on the market today in what is in all likelyhood the most remote and amazing landscape on the planet. Not only will we be travelling to world class locations such as the geothermal Deception Island, the breathtaking Lemaire channel and the Gerlache Strait; but we will also be making photographs with some of the highest quality camera equipment available today.

Many of you may be familiar with Phase One’s highly successful PODAS series of workshops which they operate around the world on a regular basis.  I am very honoured and privileged to say that this expedition to Antarctica marks the first time Phase One are officially partnering and travelling with a 3rd party expedition to Antarctica. I would like to officially thank them for their support and warmly welcome them aboard this expedition.The Phase One medium format camera system is designed for versatility and with its many features it is suitable for all kinds of photography. The Phase One digital backs capture images of stunning quality, whether attached to a technical camera or the Phase One 645DF/645DF+ camera. The 645DF/645DF+ is the most versatile camera platform for high-end photography, supporting more than 50 different medium format digital backs. I am very much looking forward to seeing the amazing photographs produced by all on this expedition with these truly state of the art world class camera systems.

If you would like take advantage of this opportunity to photograph with the highest quality medium format digital camera system available today on what promises to be an amazing expedition to Antarctica then there are a still a few places remaining before this trip will be sold out (twin Private berth remaining only). A detailed itinerary can be downloaded from the Workshops page on my website. Please contact me if you would like additional information or would like to reserve one of the remaining places.

Winner! Outdoor Photographer of the Year! – ‘The Spirit of Adventure’

I recently blogged that I had received email notification that one of my photographs from Antarctica had been selected as a finalist in the 2012 Outdoor Photographer of the Year ‘Spirit of Adventure’ category. This was the first time I have entered Outdoor Photographer of the Year and I was thrilled to have been selected as a finalist. I was subsequently very humbled a few days ago to receive news that I had not only been selected as a finalist, but had won the 2012 Outdoor Photographer of the Year competition in the ‘Spirit of Adventure’ category. The winning photograph was shot on my last expedition to Antarctica and was of mountain climbers nearing the summit in rapidly deteriorating weather. It was photographed from the deck of the Ocean Nova with a 300mm F2.8L IS lens at F7.1 1/2500th of a second hand held with the Canon 1DMKIV. The announcement of my win was officially made on the 16th of January on the Outdoor Photographer of the Year website and will also appear in the March issue of Outdoor Photography magazine. There was an awards ceremony on Saturday the 19th of January at the Outdoors Show in ExCel in London. An exhibition of  all the finalists work, including my own winning photograph was on display from the 17th – 20th of January. I am told the quality and quantity of images entered was exceptional across all categories. Unfortunately I was unable to attend the exhibition and awards ceremony due to other commitments.  If you stopped past please let me know what you thought. I admit to feeling really inspired and re-invigorated with the news and am very much looking forward to returning to Antarctic this November. A higher resolution version of this photograph can be seen on my website in the Antarctica Portfolio.

Antarctica : The Lemaire Channel

One of the most spectacular features of Antarctica we are looking forward to visiting on the expedition I am leading this November aboard the Polar Pioneer is the Lemaire Channel. This natural, narrow channel is flanked on both sides by high mountains and snow dusted rock spires and rates as one of the most wondrous and beautiful places I have ever had the pleasure to photograph. Slowly cruising through the channel is akin to what I imagine it would be like aboard a space ship gliding between towering and precipitous mountains on an alien world. Whether you are on the bow, aft, port or starboard the landscape is equally awe inspiring and impressive. On my last trip the conditions were overcast with frequent heavy snow and dark brooding clouds as we made our way slowly through the channel. Whilst a few photographers were bemoaning the lack of clear skies for sunset colour I was secretly thankful for the dark and ominous atmosphere. Antarctica is so often depicted for its brilliance that I find it refreshing to see images that depict a more ominous and portentous landscape.Frequently clogged with icebergs and pack ice the channel is really only safely navigable  early in the season in an ice hardened expedition class ship such as the Polar Pioneer. Later in the season when the weather warms and the ice thins the channel is frequently visited by larger tourist based cruise ships; although the danger of ice bergs to their thin steel skin always remains. One of the real benefits of a photographic expedition to Antarctica aboard an ice hardened ship is the ability to not only get close to very large icebergs, but also to push pack ice out of the way greatly increasing the photographic possibilities in locations such as the Lemaire Channel. Although passage through the Lemaire Channel is never guranteed we do plan to sail through it (weather and ice conditions permitting) this November. I am secretly hoping for more dramatic weather and evocative atmospherics.

Whats in Josh’s Gura Gear Bataflae 32L?

In part two of the new Gura Gear Bataflae series of videos we have a look at just what I pack in my camera bag for both international travel and local landscape photography. Depending on where I am travelling and what I am shooting I occasionally swap lenses in and out of this collection. As you will see, you can fit quite a bit of gear in a  Bataflae 32L! I actually discovered another tele-converter in the bag on top of all the other equipment when I was repacking the bag after we finished filming. Just click on the image to watch the video via You Tube. I hope you enjoy. You can order the Gura Gear Bataflae cameras bags directly from Gura Gear.

Gura Gear Bataflae 32L vs. Gura Gear Kiboko

My good friend Antony Watson and I were standing around at a nearby nature reserve late last year and decided we would make a short video of the differences between the original Gura Gear Kiboko and the new Bataflae 32L camera bag whilst we waited for the light to improve. It just so happened that between us we had the original Kiboko, the new Bataflae 32L and the Bataflae 26L in the field as well as enough hands, gear and motivation to make a couple of short videos. This first video is a straight comparison of the differences between the original Kiboko and the newly designed (and I think much improved) Bataflae 32L. Just click on the image to view the video on You Tube. I hope you enjoy.