I have had several emails over the last couple of weeks asking me why I have not as yet (after two visits to the interior of Antarctica and the remote sea ice for Emperor Penguins) shared or posted a single photograph of an Emperor Penguin. It is a fair question (as well as an astute observation) and being completely and totally upfront I decided more than two years ago that I was not going to post a single image of an Emperor Penguin until I had completed my second trip with clients this year. I felt the clients who accompanied me on this dedicated and unique expedition deserved to have the stage and spotlight for their images first and I have been thoroughly enjoying seeing their work on social media since our return this November. Seeing their photographs has been an inspiration and a wonderful trip down memory lane of the incredible experiences we shared together in such a remote area of Antarctica whilst we camped with the Emperors. Reading their comments and thoughts on the expedition that have accompanied the photographs has been for me wonderfully fulfilling and I want to take the opportunity to thank each of the participants once again for putting their faith in me to pull off this expedition.
The second reason is more selfish in that I wanted (and needed) some time to work my way through my images with a really critical eye and heavily vet them for only those photographs I felt that were absolute stand out. This process has been (and still is ongoing) extremely time consuming. I shot over 15,000 images alone in just three days on the sea ice in blizzard conditions this year and finding the best of the best in so many is no small task. Especially when you are looking for minute gesture changes and subtle differences that take a photograph from great to extraordinary. It takes a lot of time to properly edit a shoot such as this and I find I need to live with my selections for quite a while before they make the final selection. The good news is I will soon be sharing my work from this expedition and I plan to release all of the photographs simultaneously in a new portfolio on my website at www.jholko.com. I will also have a full trip report with many behind the scenes photographs. Until then, I wanted to share another Penguin photograph – This time its Adelie Penguins riding a large piece of fluted blue ice during a heavy snowstorm in Antarctica. This was my favourite photograph from the expedition I lead to South Georgia Island and the Peninsula post the Emperor Penguin Expedition. Conditions were difficult with freezing wind and blizzard snow; but the results were well worth the cold fingers.