It really is hard to believe that Christmas and New Year have come and gone and that in a few days time we will already be in February. In less than two weeks time I will be flying out of Australia on my first two workshops of the year – Yellowstone Winter Wonderland Experience and Iceland in Winter. I will also be spending time on a new scouting trip to the Arctic in Winter as well as my Arctic Fox project. It is going to be an exciting couple of months.
It has been nearly ten years since I was last in the United States and I am very much looking forward to returning and photographing in a Yellowstone Winter with a small group of great friends and passionate photographers. The Yellowstone workshop is about both wildlife and landscape opportunities and I am really excited about what we may encounter during our time in the park and surrounding areas. We are also visiting the Grand Tetons and National Elk Refuge at the end of our workshop.
After I finish in Yellowstone I am flying directly to Iceland to co-lead my annual 2015 Winter Aurora workshop with Daniel Bergmann. As I have written before Winter is wonderful in Iceland with snow covered landscapes, partially frozen waterfalls and with a little luck we will see and photograph the Aurora Borealis. We are focusing our efforts during this workshop on the landscapes of Southern Iceland and will be visiting many fantastic locations for photography in these areas including ice caves. The 2016 Winter workshop will focus on the Northern landscapes of Iceland. I opened the 2016 workshop for bookings a couple of days ago and there are now only a few places left before we will be sold out.At the conclusion of the Winter Iceland workshop I am going to travel to Svalbard for a week long scouting expedition to photograph Polar Bears and Reindeer in winter light. This is a very exciting opportunity and I will have more to say about this expedition in a few weeks time.
After completing the Svalbard trip I will fly back to Iceland and spend a week and a half in the extreme northeast of the country photographing Arctic Foxes for my Arctic Fox Project. I will then fly back to Australia at the end of March.As is customary I like to do a packing list of what I am planning to take with me on these workshops and for my time away – it helps me make sure I have not forgotten anything. Unlike my 2014 Iceland Winter Workshop I am not heading to Namibia in Africa directly afterward and so can pack only cold weather clothing, leaving the shorts and sandals at home. In fact, given I am spending time in Yellowstone and the Arctic in Winter I will be packing all of my best cold weather clothing. I am expecting temperatures of -20º celsius and below in Yellowstone and Svalbard – Iceland should be a warm bath by comparison. My Sorell Caribou winter boots are currently in storage in Iceland so I intend to purchase a new pair of winter boots in Bozeman before we start our Yellowstone workshop.
In terms of camera gear I am packing the usual gear for this trip including two long lenses for wildlife. As much as I would also like to take my TSE lenses the reality is I simply do not have enough space and already have considerable weight to manage. On top of the below I am also packing the new Lens Coat 600mm F4 Camera backpack which I can use to store the 600mm when not in use. This clever new bag packs flat and takes up almost no room in my luggage.