Departing for Antarctica White Nature Expedition 2017

Time has quickly evaporated since my return from Greenland (Read the Trip Report) and in just a few minutes (as soon as I finish this post) I am heading to the airport to start the long trip to Santiago in Chile and then on down to Puerto Williams at the bottom of South America. From there it will be a two day sail across the Drake Passage to Antarctica.

I have been looking forward to this expedition for a long time now. As a full charter that is totally dedicated to photography we have a lot of flexibility to operate in the best light of the day and to explore where we choose. Being the first expedition of the season means we should also encounter really fantastic ice and snow conditions on the Peninsula. If you follow my blog then you know that I wrote a series of lengthy articles on How to Choose a Photographic Expedition to Antarctica over the past months. Everything about this expedition has been designed with the photographer in mind first and foremost.

As is custom I like to do a post of what equipment I am taking with me on an expedition. After much soul searching, and a lot of back and forth I have decided not to take my underwater housing and pole-cam system with me on this expedition. Simply put, I don’t feel I have enough experience with the underwater system as yet to maximise any opportunities that might present themselves. Antarctica is a difficult place to operate and photograph and trying to work with equipment with which you are unfamiliar is at best problematic and at worst a complete waste of time. It would inevitably  result in other missed opportunities. Underwater work in Antarctica is simply going to have to wait until such time as I have become more familiar with the housing controls and the nuances of working underwater. Without the burden of the underwater housing I can focus on terrestrial work and bring a good range of equipment to work with.

Lightroom Roller Camera bag (Carry on Luggage)

– 2 x Canon EOS 1DX MKII bodies
– 1 x Canon 11-24mm F4L Lens
– 1 x Canon 24-70mm F4L IS Lens
– 1 x Canon 100-400mm F4.5-5.6L MKII IS Lens
– 1 x Canon 85mm F1.2L MKII
– 1 x Canon 300mm F2.8L MKII IS Lens
– 1 x Sigma 15mm Fish Eye Lens
– 1 x Canon 1.4 XTC MKIII
– 1 x Canon 12X TC MKIII
Gura Gear Chobe (Carry on Luggage)
– 1 x Apple MacBook Pro 15″ Retina (I never did get around to upgrading to the new 13″ model)
– 1 x Apple laptop charger
– 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
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 blogged some time ago that I had been toying with the idea of adding the new Canon 100-400mm MKII lens to my arsenal (as a replacement for the 70-200mm), and finally decided to do so (I used it on my recent Greenland expeditions with great success).  The new Canon 100-400mm MKII lens is a really superb optical package at an incredibly attractive price. When you consider the much more expensive and much heavier 200-400mm F4L IS Lens is more than six times the price for very little increase in resolution (although it is faster and has an inbuilt teleconverter) it makes the new 100-400mm MKII a veritable bargain. If you need a flexible and versatile telephoto lens on a budget its really hard to go past this new lens.

See you in Antarctica!

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