Departing for Arctic Winter Expeditions 2017

In a few hours time I am headed to the airport for the long haul flights to Europe to kick off the 2017 year. I had planned to have a couple more weeks at home before I headed north to the Arctic but a new opportunity in Italy has ramped up my schedule and I will now have a couple of weeks in Italy before I head up to Finland and then onto Iceland and Svalbard.

I have a number of different workshops and expeditions on this trip which officially kick off in force after Finland. Finland is a scouting trip and I am hoping to get the opportunity to photograph Great Grey Owls, Hawk Owls and also Wolverine in a winter setting. I actually won the trip to Finland as part of the Global Arctic Photographer of the Year award and decided to extend the trip into a full scouting expedition. As I have not been to Finland before this will all be new and I am very much looking forward to the experience.

After Finland I am travelling directly to Iceland for my annual winter workshop with Daniel Bergmann. This workshop has long been sold out but we are now starting to take bookings for 2018 and full details of this workshop are available on my website at the way to the End of the World - AntarcticaAfter our Winter Frozen north workshop I am leading a small group of wildlife photographers up to the extreme northwest of Iceland to photograph Arctic Foxes in a winter setting. We are using a private charter boat to access the remote peninsula and will spend a week living with the Arctic Foxes. Having worked extensively in this area over the last three years on my Arctic Fox project I am really excited about sharing this experience with other passionate photographers. I will have a full trip report on both the Iceland Winter Frozen North workshop and Iceland Arctic Fox expedition on my return.Fox AttackAfter I finish in Iceland I am travelling to Svalbard for a week long snow mobile expedition for a new short film about Nature photography in winter in the Arctic. It has been a couple of years since I was last in Svalbard on snow mobiles in winter and I am really looking forward to getting back out into the back country and wilderness in a winter setting. With just a two person film crew we will be light and mobile and should be able to cover a lot of ground and hopefully have some wonderful wildlife encounters.

After the snow mobile expedition I will lead one final winter Arctic expedition from Longyearbyen aboard the expedition ship M.S Origo – Svalbard in Winter. Our plan is to take advantage of the winter light and low angle of the sun to explore and photograph both the wildlife and landscape of the Svalbard archipelago in a winter setting. The high Arctic in winter is an incredible place and although the temperatures can be very extreme it is well worth the effort to witness and photograph such an amazing landscape in such dramatic winter light. The 2017 expedition has also long been sold out but bookings are now open for the 2018 expedition – details on my website at  (limited places remaining).svalbard-9725-edit copyPacking for these sort of expeditions is always a challenge. In terms of subject matter, there will be both extensive wildlife and landscape opportunities during these expeditions and as such I am packing both wide angle and telephoto lenses. With that in mind I settled on the following as my selection for these  trips:

Gura Gear Bataflae 32L Camera Bag (Carry on Luggage)

– 2 x Canon EOS 1DX MKII bodies
– 1 x Canon EOS 5DSR body
– 1 x Canon 16-35mm F4L IS Lens
– 1 x Canon 24-70mm F2.8L IS MK II Lens
– 1 x Canon 70-200mm F2.8L MKII IS Lens
– 1 x Canon 600mm F4L IS MKII Lens
– 1 x Sigma 15mm Fish Eye Lens
– 1 x Canon 1.4 TC MKIII Teleconverter
Gura Gear Chobe (Carry on Luggage)
– 1 x Apple MacBook Pro 15″ Retina
– 1 x Apple laptop charger
– 1 x Canon 200-400mm F4L MKII IS Lens
– 2 x USB 3 2TB external portable Sandisk SSD Drives
– 1 x  Thunderbolt CFast card reader and CF card Reader
– 1 x Sunglasses and sunglasses case
– 1 x Leica Ultra-vid 10×42 HD Binoculars
Etcetera Case #1 (Inside Chobe)
– 1 x Canon 1-Series camera charger
– 2 x Power Adapters for on board ship
– 2 x Canon 1DX spare Batteries
– 2 x Canon 5DSR spare Batteries
Etcetera Case #2 (Inside North Face Duffle)
– 1 x Arctic Butterfly Sensor Cleaner
– 1 x Filter Wrench
– 1 x Zeiss Cleaning Fluid and Lens Cleaning Tissue
– 1 x Micro Fibre Lens Cloth
– 1 x Rocket Blower with Hepa-Filter
I have been toying for some time with the idea of adding the new Canon 100-400mm MKII lens to my arsenal (as a replacement for the 70-200mm), but in the end decided I really wanted the faster 2.8 lens for these particular trips.  In addition to all of the above, I am also taking a pair of Pocket Wizards and a CamFi remote trigger system for the Canon EOS1DX MKII system. I recently reviewed the CamFi here on my blog (Read the Review) and am looking forward to using this remote trigger system with the Arctic Foxes in Iceland. Lastly, I will have some spare time in Italy and am looking forward to hopefully a few days in Rome and Venice in winter. Please put the coffee on….  See you in Italy.

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