Antarctica : White Nature 2017 Expedition Announcement

Today I am very excited to announce a brand new and unique expedition to the Great White continent in November 2017 next year  – Antarctica: White Nature. This new and very special expedition is a co-operative effort between myself and Norwegian photographer and friend Ole Jorgen Liodden.

Iceberg in Antarctica

Antarctica is miraculous; a remote, white continent of stark and beautiful desolation. For Nature photographers, Antarctica is without doubt the gold standard against which all other photography destinations are measured. Nowhere else on earth offers such incredible landscape and wildlife in such a pristine and remote environment. Best of all, we have timed our expedition as the first of the season in order to provide the best possible chance for fantastic icebergs and great light. Our expedition is a full charter which means we are 100% dedicated to providing the best possible experience and opportunities for photography. Unlike most trips to our Antarctica you wont have to share with tourists or regular travellers. You will be sharing with people who are just as dedicated and passionate as you are about capturing the best possible photographs.

The expedition is for a strictly limited number of 54 participants plus photography guides and expedition leader. We have chartered the ice hardened expedition ship M/S Polar Pioneer with a highly experienced crew so that we can get as close as possible to giant icebergs for the best photographs. 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!


The main focus of this expedition will be Antarctic wildlife including penguins, seabirds, seals, and possibly even whales. We also plan to photograph snow and ice covered landscapes and icebergs. Our expedition has been timed as the first of the season so we expect fantastic icebergs and a breathtaking winter landscape. Very few photographers have visited Antarctica in early November, and experience has shown us that this will give you the best possible photo opportunities.

Antarctica is one of the hot-spots for photographing penguins, seals and icebergs in a great landscape. We will be landing early in the morning and late in the evening to get the best possible light conditions, which you will miss out on an ordinary tourist trip.Antarctica1DX-7760

We will schedule much longer stops than usual when going ashore in order to provide participants with enough time to get excellent pictures. We will be using MKV zodiac boats to get ashore or when searching for the wildlife at sea. With 9-10 full days near the Antarctic Peninsula, this expedition is for nature photographers who want more quality time with the Antarctic wildlife and landscape. To get an idea of the sort gf photographs you will be able to make on this expedition please visit the Antarctica Portfolio on my website.Antarctica-7509-Edit


• Unlike most tourist cruises to Antarctica, where you are sharing space with regular travelers, our expedition is a full charter dedicated to providing the best possible photographic experience for all aboard. You will be sharing the expedition only with dedicated and passionate photographers.

• Our expedition uses an ice hardened ship that is limited to the small group size of just 54 photographers. IATTO restrictions enforce the number of visitors to Antarctica rigorously. With only 54 photographers you will not miss any opportunity or suffer any landing restrictions due to large passenger numbers.

• Our expedition has been timed as the rst in the season in order to provide the very best opportunities for great light and fantastic icebergs. Very few photographers have traveled to Antarctica in November.

• Photography on our expedition is our primary focus and concern (after safety). Our catering staff understand our requirement to be working when the light is at its best. As such our meal times are exible and not regimented to ensure we maximize all opportunities.

• Our program is 100% tailored towards photography.

• The photography guide leaders: Joshua Holko and Ole Jorgen Liodden are both full time professional Nature photographers who specialize in Polar Photography and who have a combined total of twelve seasons of experience and more than twenty four expeditions to Antarctica.

• Our Expedition Leader Martin Enckell has spent more than ten summers in Antarctica and is widely regarded as one of the most experienced expedition leaders in Antarctica.

• Our Naturalist Eirik Grønningsæter is also a professional Nature photographer with more than eight years experience in Antarctica.

• Our expanded photographic guide team is quite simply the best in the business. With a combined total of well over sixty expeditions to Antarctica our guides know and understand what you are looking for in your photography and are dedicated to ensuring you capture the best possible images during the expedition.

• Check out some of our previous Expedition VideosAntarctica-3074-Edit


“After traveling with Joshua Holko and Wild Nature Photo Travel I simply can’t imagine going with anyone else. These guys are the real deal.” – Robyn Mills – Photographer

“If you want to experience and photograph the real Antarctica, look no further than Joshua Holko and Wild Nature Photo Travel” – Martyn Lucas – Photographer

We invite you to join us on a 14 days (13 nights) photography expedition to the Antarctic Peninsula in November 2017. due to our initial expressions of interest and bookings places are already very limited. If you would like more information or would like to register your booking please contact me via email.  You can download a detailed PDF booking form HERE. Get ready for the ultimate Antarctica White Nature Expedition!Antarctica-7003-Edit

Lofoten Island Winter Workshop Report 2016

In March this year I led a new winter landscape workshop to the Lofoten Islands in Norway with long time good friend and fellow landscape photographer Martyn Lucas. If you are unfamiliar with Lofoten let me assure you that The landscape of these islands is really quite something to behold. Precipitous and ominous peaks that rise straight out of the ocean loom over small fishing villages that comprise of bright red houses lining the shorelines. With a dusting of fresh snow and arctic winter light the entire scene is akin to a fairy tail location and subsequently the photographic opportunities can be truly superb.Lofoten-4779-EditThis workshop was a for a small group of just six experienced landscape and nature photographers. We based ourselves primarily in the small town of Reine and made daily excursions to various locations around the Island for photography. Lofoten has become quite the hot spot for photography in the last few years (some are calling Lofoten the new Iceland) and although we did encounter a few other photographers during one of of our early morning sessions near town (where the above photograph was taken), we primarily had the place to to ourselves. It has been my experience in ‘hot spot’ locations such as Iceland and Lofoten that it is not too difficult to get away from other groups if you travel with someone who knows the terrain and have an experienced guide with you. Both Iceland and Lofoten have a number of iconic locations that everyone visits and photographs. However, both also have a vast number of excellent off the beaten track locations that are rarely visited and even less rarely photographed. On the whole, we preferred to spend the majority of our time in these less visited areas as the opportunity for unique photographs is greatly improved and you don’t have to fight for tripod space.Lofoten-4519-EditLike much of the Arctic, photography in Lofoten in winter is heavily weather dependant. It is entirely possible to be socked in for days with heavy cloud and bad weather in this part of the world (a risk you have to be prepared to accept when you venture so far north in winter). Its common on this sort of trip to loose at least one or two days to bad weather – its par for the course. Fortunately, we had very good weather and light for most of our trip with only a little rain on a couple of occasions. Being so mountainous and surrounded by ocean Lofoten is prone to highly variable weather; which can be both a boon and bane for photographers. The ideal scenario is a dusting of fresh snow with cold temperatures and golden light. We were fortunate to experience this on several occasions. We also had some really lovely cloud during the workshop that made for some wonderfully moody and evocative images.Lofoten-4536-EditDuring our workshop we also experienced and photographed the Aurora Borealis (northern lights). Lofoten is blessed with fantastic mountains that rise almost vertically straight out of the ocean and that make for a superb back drop for the Aurora. As is always the case with Aurora photography the real key to getting interesting photographs is to try and include some sort of foreground and background elements (in this case I chose a small section of partially submerged rocks as my foreground). There is a temptation to focus entirely on the Aurora itself when photographing the northern lights and it is easy to be seduced by the color and activity alone. The solution is to try and photograph the lights in the context of the environment around you. Much like wildlife, where the key is to place the animal in context; you need to put the Aurora into context with its surroundings.Lofoten-0431-EditBeing surrounded by water Lofoten offers  great opportunities for seascape photography at just about every turn and we took advantage of this by visiting and photographing many different beaches and areas of coastline. Much of the coastline is rocky or dotted with large boulders (JCB’s – Otherwise known as Joe Cornish Boulders) which provides limitless opportunities for foreground interest. Many of the beaches are also very accessible and only a short walk from car parks or pull off areas. We spent quite a lot time exploring and photographing various areas of coastline and some really interesting photographs resulted. In the right conditions, Lofoten in winter also has the added benefit of snow down to sea level for even more interest.Lofoten-4973-EditIt is worth noting that Lofoten isn’t just about landscape photography. On our last day we made the decision to mix things up and took a private charter boat out to photograph White-Tailed Sea Eagles fishing off the coastline. This proved a worthwhile gamble with a couple of hours of really wonderful eagle photography in occasional light snowfall. Photographing fishing sea eagles from boat in winter in the Arctic is a lot of fun. We were able to get quite close to some of the eagles (so close my 300mm F2.8L IS MKII was occasionally too much lens and I had to switch out to the 70-200mm F2.8L IS MKII. I did not yet have a production version of the new Canon EOS 1DX MKII so all photographs were taken on the original Canon EOS 1DX. I have subsequently sold both my original Canon EOS 1DX bodies and migrated completely to the newer MKII.Lofoten-1554-EditEdit: As a side note: I have now spent three weeks in the field with the new Canon EOS 1DX MKII in the South Island of New Zealand. In my experience to date I have already found the auto focus on the new MKII to be a significant improvement over the original (and thats a significant statement) – particularly in back light and low light situations. I was photographing the rare and endangered Yellow-eyed penguins in the South Island in very difficult back light and found the camera continually nailed focus in this situation. Back lit subjects are one of the hardest tests for any auto focus system. The system also performed flawlessly for Bullers Mollymawk Albatross in Miflord Sound. More to come on the new EOS 1DX MKII in a future post including my thoughts on the high ISO capabilities.

Visiting Lofoten in Winter also provides an opportunity for cultural photography. At this time of year the cod are being fished around the Islands; they are then processed and hung to dry on the many cod racks dotted around the Islands (yes, you can smell them long before you see them). Every part of the cod is used and even the heads are hung to dry. I am personally not a street or cultural photographer but the process is nevertheless interesting to watch and photograph.

To those of you who have already contacted me asking about a future workshop to Lofoten in 2017 or 2018:  At this stage I will not be running a future trip to Lofoten (due to other commitments of which I will have more to say in the next few days). I would however, like to thank Martyn for his assistance in guiding the group to some fantastic locations and to all who participated and contributed to this workshop. We were blessed with some wonderful conditions for photography and some really remarkable images resulted from our experience and time in Lofoten. Small, intimate groups for this sort of landscape photography workshop are the ideal way to ensure you capture the best possible photographs.


Luminous Landscape Founder Michael Reichmann Passes Away at 71

There has been some very sad news today in the photography community: Michael Reichmann, the founder of the popular website Luminous Landscape, passed away yesterday at the age of 71 after a lengthy battle with cancer. Luminous Landscape publisher and CEO Kevin Raber announced the news today on the Luminous Landscape Website.

Michaels passion for photography was matched only by his love of sharing that passion with readers around the world,” writes Raber.

A professional photographer for five decades, Michael started the Luminous Landscape seventeen years ago (back in 1999) after his friend suggested that he take some of the magazine articles he had written over the years and publish them on a Website. Nearly two decades later, Luminous Landscape has published over 5,000 articles and is now visited by over one million photographers every month.

During the last year of his life, Michael focused his outward efforts toward The Luminous Endowment, which provides financial grants to photographers around the world to foster current and anticipated projects.

I was fortunate to meet Michael many years ago when he was in Melbourne, Australia on a speaking engagement for Phase One Cameras and I am proud to include one of Michael’s prints from Antartica on my studio walls. Michael was a significant inspiration in my early days of Nature photography and I have continued to keenly follow his work over the years.  The photography community lost an icon yesterday. Rest in Peace Michael.luminous-endowment-reichmann-lead

Semi-Finalist: Nature’s Best Photography 2016

I was very pleased to receive notification yesterday that I have had one of my photographs selected as a finalist image in Natures Best Photography competition. This is the sixth year in a row I have had my photography in the finals and am honoured to have had my photographs selected again. I can’t share which photograph has been selected at this point in the judging, but will post the image up as soon as the final judging is complete.

I have also just made available online an open edition portfolio on the Arctic Fox and the Polar Bear. Portfolios are a collection of loose, unbound original fine art pigment on paper prints that when viewed as a group form a collective project. Each portfolio contains a title page, then typically a colophon and statement about the project. A selection of finished fine art prints forms the project body of work. The photographs themselves are intended to be seen as a group, such as one would find in a book. However, they are loose prints designed to be held in the hand and kept together in a fine art package.

Each portfolio cover is made from custom embossed acid-free archival art paper. The assembly uses only archival, acid-free materials to ensure the long life of the prints contained inside. Prints can be stored in the portfolio cover, or removed, matted and framed.

Portfolios are printed on 100% cotton acid-free A4 Museo Portfolio Rag 300gsm Fine Art paper with a Canon IPF6350 Large format printer using Canon LUCIA long-life pigment inks. Each print is made with the same exacting care and meticulous attention to detail as my large format prints that are available exclusively through galleries. Portfolios are individually numbered, open edition and are available for $250USD each plus shipping.

The first two Portfolios to be made available are on the Arctic Fox and the Polar Bear. Each Portfolio contains six open edition fine-art prints as well as title page, colophon and statement about the project. Portfolios can be ordered online directly.