In October this year I am leading my bi-annual safari to the gigantic sand desert of Namibia. At this stage there are now just two places remaining before the workshop will be sold out. Namibia is an epic world class location for both landscape and wildlife photography and best of all.. we are going to be doing both on this trip! We will be spending time at the ghost town of Kolmonskop, the giant sand dunes of Sossusvlei, the iconic salt pans of Deadvlei and the wildlife rich region of Etosha. If you are interested in joining us please drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to secure your place. A full PDF itinerary can be downloaded HERE.
Tomorrow afternoonI am going to be leaving Australia for the long trek up to Longyearbyen at 78º north to lead my annual Arctic summer expedition for Polar Bears, Walrus, Arctic Fox and of course Arctic landscapes. I have been in Australia for two months now – the longest stretch I have had at home in more than five years and I am feeling rested, fully recharged and super keen to get back up to the Arctic.As some of you are aware I have been battling with a badly torn lateral tendon in my right elbow (the result of continued repetitive strain with cameras and lenses (No! I will not switch to mirrorless!) that has precluded me from much serious photography since I returned from winter in the Arctic earlier this year. After very intensive physiotherapy I finally feel like I have started to turn the corner and have taken the first steps on the road to recovery. It will be many months before the tendon is fully healed and I have to be careful how I use my arm, but I can now lift my camera again and that means I am ready to get back into the game with both er… feet….as it were.Its tradition for me to do a packing list for each expedition and so included below is my gear choice for this particular trip. All of this will pack into my F-Stop Lightroom Roller which I will use to get the equipment through the transit stage of my expedition (I no longer wish to lug a backpack through airports without rollers). I will then re-pack it on location into my F-stop backpack.
F- Stop Lightroom Roller Camera Bag:
- 2 x Canon EOS 1DX MKII
- 2 X Canon EOS 1DX MKII Spare Batteries
- 1 x Canon 11-24mm F4L
- 1 x Canon 24-70mm F4L IS
- 1 x Canon 70-200mm F2.8L IS MKII (I am unsure if I will upgrade to the MKIII at this stage)
- 1 x Canon 400mm F2.8L IS MKII
- 1 x Canon 1.4 TC MKIII Teleconverter
In my checked luggage I am bringing the following:
- 1 x Sachtler Carbon Fire Tripod (the new model I have not as yet tested in the field)
- 1 x Sachtler FSB-6 Fluid Head
- 1 x Ortlieb Dry Bag (for zodiac excursions)
- 1 x Canon 1DX MKII Battery Charger and Lens Cleaning Kit
The astute gear gurus amongst you will probably note that I am taking the 400mm f2.8 instead of the 600mm f4. The primary reason for this is I have been doing some testing with my physiotherapist and am finding the 400mm better balanced for my elbow as the weight is not so far forward. The addition of the 1.4TC gets me out to almost 600mm in any case and provides both a super fast aperture as well as a flexible focal length.
Summer in the Arctic is an incredible time. With the midnight sun we will have 24 hours of light available for photography and that means a huge amount of opportunities. The ice is quite far north at present, which means we may have to go as high as 82º this year. Either way, I cant wait to stand on the bow as we push through the pack ice and raise my camera for that first polar bear of the expedition. See you in Svalbard!
Addendum: There are now limited places only on next years High Arctic Expedition. If you are keen to join us and secure a spot for the best available Arctic expedition experience please let me know as soon as possible.
Somehow I managed to let June slip past without a photograph of the month update. Either I am getting old and forgetful or just had too much on my plate (I am hoping its the later). Either way this update is both my June and July Photograph of the month (I will try not to forget August!).
The June photograph of the month was taken on my recent New Zealand South Island Masterclass (Read the Trip Report). We were driving from the small town of Fox Glacier to Greymouth on our last full day and had just left town after breakfast. We rounded a bend in the road when I noticed the wonderful cloud and mist swirling amongst the trees and mountains. We immediately pulled over for a drive by shooting session and the following image resulted. The great thing about this sort of cloud and mist is it is constantly changing as it swirls amongst trees and mountains. I made a number of different exposures over a period of perhaps two minutes, but this is the one that best captures the feeling and drama of Middle Earth. In print this image absolutely swings with wonderful delicate tones in the clouds, mist and trees.The July photograph of the month was taken on my Winter Svalbard expedition this March (Read the Trip Report) and is of the full moon rising over the snow and ice covered Arctic mountains. I almost missed this opportunity – or rather, it is perhaps more accurate to say I owe a debt of thanks to Chris who remained outside to watch for the rising moon whilst the rest of us went inside for a warming drink. We had waited outside for over an hour for the moon to rise and had all but completely given up when Chris came inside to alert us that the moon was finally making an appearance over the mountains (thank you Chris!).
The finalists were announced today for the 2018 Antarctic Photography Competition – which is part of the Australian Antarctic Festival held in Hobart this August. Entries were received from more than five countries and I am pleased to say that one of my photographs has been selected as a finalist and will be on display at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery in Hobart from next month. I cant as yet share the photograph (its not the one below), but will do so at a later date when possible.
All of the finalist’s images will be printed, mounted and then displayed at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery in Hobart. The exhibition is open in the Bond Store Basement Gallery from 2-19 August, as part of the Australian Antarctic Festival. Admission to the Exhibition is free (closed Tuesdays). I hope to pop down to Hobart for a day when I get back from Svalbard; both to check out the exhibition, but also for some fresh scallops off the wharf.
Live-books have just finished a redesign and update on the workshops report page on my main website. If you haven’t checked it out before this is a great way to get an idea of what to expect on any upcoming workshop or expedition.