The new December / February issue of Photo Review ‘Inspiring Australian Photographers’, is now on sale and includes a feature article ‘Ice Work‘ on my polar photography as well as one of my recent photographs from Antarctica on the cover. The cover shot was taken last November during a photographic expedition to the Antarctic Peninsula and is of a Gentoo Penguin calling its mate during a heavy snow fall. I had forgotten the exact location this was taken – but thank you to friend and participant Clemens for remembering it was in fact Cuverville Island. It was shot with a Canon EOS 1DX and the new Canon 200-400mm F4L IS lens with inbuilt 1.4 Teleconverter. Magazines rarely advise you prior to publication that you have made the cover so it is always a wonderful surprise to see the issue for the first time. You can click on the image below to download the full article or HERE to download as a PDF. The full issue of Photo Review is available now in both print as well as digital editions for the iPad or PDF for other electronic readers.
It was a pleasant surprise to receive an email on docking back in Ushuaia a few days ago after twenty-one days in South Georgia and Antarctica that several of my photographs have been selected for the final round of judging in the 2014 International Travel Photographer of the Year competition. I took third place and was highly commended in the Single-Shot Water Category in 2012 with the ‘Blue Berg’ photograph from the Jökulsarlon lagoon in Iceland and this is now the third year in a row I have made the finals of this competition. This year I have photographs in the finals in the Earth, Air, Fire, Water Portfolio category (four photographs), Spirit of Adventure Portfolio (four photographs), and the Wild and Vibrant Single Shot category. As final judging has not yet taken place I am unable to share the photographs at this point, but will do so once judging is complete.I am continually inspired to enter the Travel Photographer of the Year competition as it is one of the few photographic competitions remaining today that still judge the ‘print’ rather than a compressed jpeg. I wrote a couple of years ago of my disillusionment with so many of the photography competitions that make their judgements solely on a compressed jpeg file. The craft of producing a beautiful fine art print is one of the most enjoyable aspects of photography for me and is how I prefer to have my work viewed.
Andy Biggs and I have now wrapped up our twenty one day South Georgia Island and Antarctica photography expedition. We docked yesterday in Ushuaia after experiencing some of the most incredible polar landscapes and wildlife experiences of my photographic career. It was a unique experience and an absolute joy and pleasure to share it with so many other passionate and keen photographers. I recall something renowned photographer Art Wolfe once said – “If you can only visit one place in the world for wildlife photography it should be South Georgia Island”. He was most definitely right. From what I have already seen from those aboard there were some incredible photographs created during this voyage. No doubt, more will emerge over the coming weeks and months as everyone gets a chance to sort through the plethora of images we made during this expedition. Our ship was abuzz with excitement during our voyage and the recounting of our daily experiences over the evening meal that included everything from wildlife encounters to talk of dramatic landscapes, weather, photography and myriad of other topics made the whole shared experience simply wonderful.This brief post is not intended to be a full trip report as that will come later once I have had a chance to fully digest our experiences and sort and process a few more of the many thousands of photographs I made during this voyage. After twenty one days of pretty much non stop landscape and wildlife photography my cameras and lenses are smoking and my shot count well in excess of seven thousand images – including many underwater and split (half above / half below) photographs thanks to Aquatech who kindly provided sponsorship equipment for this expedition. It is going to take me a long time to sort and edit the photographs from this expedition, but I do hope to publish a few images when I get home just before Christmas. On top of that, my good friend and fellow photographer Antony Watson was tasked with shooting video for the duration of the expedition and we hope to cobble that together into a short movie of our experiences to be shared at a later date.For now, Antony, Martyn, Louisa and I have a day to rest and recover in Ushuaia before we fly out for ten days trekking and photography on the Argentinean side of Patagonia. The last time I visited Patagonia a year ago with my my friend and fellow photographer Martyn Lucas we experienced horrendous winds for six out of the seven days we were in the park and photography was more or less impossible. We have high hopes for better conditions this time. It will certainly be very nice to stretch the legs with some long hikes in the Patagonian back country after twenty one days of being at sea.Just by way of a small teaser announcement for a future expedition: Once I finish in Patagonia I will return to Ushuaia for one more Antarctic expedition this season to the Peninsula with my friend Antony before I fly home in time for Christmas. I will be home for just over a week before I will return to Antarctica at the end of the year for a scouting trip to photograph Emperor Penguins in a very remote region of Antarctica. This scouting trip is something I have been working on for more than a year now and it is my hope that this test trip will result in a future photographic expedition to photograph the world’s largest and most majestic penguin – The mighty Emperor.
I am very excited to formally announce that I will be leading a new fifteen day photographic expedition to South Georgia Island in November 2015 with my good friend and talented Nature Photographer Ole Jorgen. It seems somewhat fitting to have scheduled this new expedition announcement to coincide with my being in South Georgia at present and in the middle of a twenty one day expedition to both South Georgia and Antarctica. The 2015 expedition is going to be very different to the trip I am currently undertaking and will hone its focus and specialise solely on South Georgia Island. I have heard it said “If you can only photograph wildlife once in your life make sure its South Georgia Island“. I have to say I am in total agreement with that statement. South Georgia Island is a wildlife photographers paradise. There is absolutely nothing that prepares you for the enormity of the landscape or the miracle of the abundant wildlife. This is indeed a place where you are likely to only put down your camera when your finger is so tired you can no longer press the shutter and you can no longer see for the smoking cameras. It is an absolute photographic mecca and a true experience of a lifetime. My friend and fellow photographer Antony and I are currently shooting some video in South Georgia and we hope to share some our experiences with video on our return.This fifteen day photography expedition will depart from the Falkland Islands on the 7th of November 2015 and is singularly focused on providing the definitive South Georgia Island photography experience. We have arranged permits for an extended stay in South Georgia that will allow us not less than ten days of photography (compared to the usual 48 hours only) at this incredible location. Best of all we have timed our expedition with the breeding season for the Penguins, Albatross and Seals. At this time there will be a lot of activity in the colonies and lots of action to photograph. We will sail from the Falkland Islands (the closest port) directly to South Georgia Island where we will zodiac cruise through a maze of icebergs before landing ashore on a beach bedecked with penguins, seals and lichen encrusted boulders. South Georgia Island promises fantastic wildlife and landscape opportunities. We will see and photograph the world’s largest King Penguin rookeries, majestic albatross nests, seals and a plethora of bird life. Kelp strewn beaches are cluttered with basking elephant seals, feisty fur seals and hundreds of penguins that will prove a wildlife photographers dream. Stromness and Grytviken harbour 3000 metre rocky peaks that rise up from the ocean to form amazing backdrops to the remains of whaling stations that will fulfil every landscape shooters wishes for dramatic landscape.
South Georgia’s remote, untamed landscape is simply stunning. Scattered across the mighty Southern Ocean, the tiny arc of windswept islands and harbours are some of the world’s greatest wildlife sanctuaries set against world class landscapes. Famed for its abandoned whaling stations and Shackleton’s heroic journey, South Georgia is home to literally millions of fur seals and penguins, wallows of elephant seals, and nesting albatross. After we finish photographing in this breathtaking area we will sail back to the Falkland Islands where we will dock on the 21st of November and conclude this photographic expedition. For those who are keen there is a one-week extension for dedicated Bird photography in the Falkland Islands at the conclusion of the expedition. The extension is limited to just four photographers. EDIT – Please note the Falkland Islands Extension is already SOLD OUT.
This photograph of King Penguins was taken by my good friend Ole Jorgen on a previous expedition to South Georgia Island.
The expedition is for a strictly limited number of 52 participants plus leaders and expedition guide. We will be using an ice hardened expedition ship that will enable us to get into the best possible locations. Our expedition ship the ‘Polar Pioneer’ is equipped with sufficient zodiacs and crew for all photographers to be shooting simultaneously with plenty of room to spare for camera equipment – So bring what you need! Due to prior expressions of interest and bookings there are now only two places remaining out of the original 54 that were available before this expedition will be sold out. If you would like to reserve one of the two remaining places or would like further information you can download a detailed itinerary and PDF flyer HERE or drop me an email and I will get back to you when we dock back in Ushuaia later this month. Please note that once these last two places are spoken for thats it.
It is hard for me to believe it has already been five years since I started this photography blog. It still feels like only a few months ago that I sat down and decided to start writing about my photographic experiences, workshops, expeditions and travel photography. At the time I was not really sure exactly where I was planning to head with my own photography (or this blog for that matter); or perhaps a more accurate description would be I had not yet fully realised the direction I was taking. Looking back, I think the idea of working as a full time professional Nature photographer was always my ideal and the path now seems very clear, but I was perhaps to scared to allow myself to fully realise the dream. My feeling nowadays is you should always chase your passion regardless of the pursuit. As artists, we do our best work when we are most passionate about our subject. Passion and love of the subject and craft always shines and shows in the finished product. Wether you like to shoot macro images of insects, wildlife or grand vistas it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you get out there and photograph that subject. Do it with passion, do it because you love it and do it as often as you can.
It feels sort of ironic for me that this post celebrating five years of blogging and sharing my photographic experiences was scheduled to go live on this date automatically as I am currently in South Georgia and Antarctica leading a twenty one day photographic expedition with good friend Andy Biggs. This particular expedition was one I had been looking forward to for a very long time. With so many good friends and passionate photographers on board our ship and such world class wildlife and landscape I can think of no better place to be to celebrate the five year anniversary. If you missed out on this expedition, or if you have always wanted to travel to South Georgia Island then stay tuned – I will soon be formally announcing a new dedicated expedition to South Georgia Island in November 2015 that includes an unprecedented 10-day permit for photography in this world class location. Renowned photographer Art Wolfe once said something along the lines of “If you can only photograph wildlife in one place in your life, then make it South Georgia Island.” I have to say I agree with him. Interest in this 2015 expedition has been extraordinary and there are already only two places remaining before this trip will be sold out. If you want to get the drop on one of the last places please just send me an email to register your interest and I will get back to you when I return to Ushuaia.
I want to take a moment at this point to thank all of you who have been regular readers, and all of you with whom I have had the pleasure to travel with and photograph over the years (including the many photographers sharing the current expedition in South Georgia Island). The collective passion a group of photographers exude is powerful and intoxicating and an incredible source of inspiration to myself and all photographers. I feel very fortunate to have been able to share in so many photographic adventures with so many fantastic photographers – many of whom have become firm long term friends and are incredible photographers in their own right.
It was quite a hard decision deciding what photograph to share for this five year anniversary post but in the end I decided to share a new image from a project I am currently working on and hope to finish by the end of next year. This project will be a celebration of Polar Life in both the extreme North and South latitudes of the globe and will include photographs of a number of different species. This new work will appear in full once I finish the printing of my book ‘Extreme Latitude’ early next year.
This photograph of an Arctic Fox was taken from a snow blind in March this year at Hornvik in the extreme North West of Iceland. This location is only accessible by boat and is many, many miles from any civilisation. There are no roads into this area – it is pure wilderness. In the deep winter months when I visited this location I spent the better part of a week in a snow blind photographing a number of Arctic Fox. This large male was foraging in the snow and bristled when he found something edible so close to my location. It was shot with a Canon EOS1DX and Canon 600mm F4L IS MKII.