Greenland Expedition Announcement September 2019

It has been some time coming but I am pleased to now formally announce my 2019 expeditions to the spectacular Scoresby Sund fjord system on the east coast of Greenland with good friend Daniel Bergmann. For 2019 Daniel and I will be leading two back-to-back ‘fly-in, fly-out’ expeditions that will depart from Reykjavik via charter plane and land at Constable Point in Greenland. Flying to Greenland saves us two days sailing across open ocean in either direction and means we have more time for exploration and photography.

A few words on Greenland: Home to some of the most extraordinary geology to be found on earth, the red and orange glacial scarred landscape of Greenland stands in stark contrast to the electric blue icebergs that carve off its many glaciers and drift slowly down its precipitous fjords. It is a remote land of untamed and unbridled beauty that is rarely visited and even less rarely photographed. It is an incredible place to inspire the imagination and fuel your photographic desires.

The landscape and geology of the East Coast of Greenland is both stunning and extraordinary. Photographing this incredible landscape under soft golden Arctic light is our main objective. In fact, our entire expedition has been planned around us being on location at the best time of year for soft golden light. We will also see and photograph incredible castellated icebergs that have calved off the many glaciers of Greenland. Dramatic glaciers, plunging cliffs and beautiful drift ice formations will be present as well.

These expeditions have been more than two years in the planning and have been structured on our extensive experience in the region to provide the very best possible opportunities to photograph the incredible landscapes of the remote East Coast of Greenland in the Scoresbysund fjord system. With the sun low in the sky and at an oblique angle, late September and early October are the ideal times to photograph this region of the Arctic. Working during the best light of the day we will maximise our time for photography with daily shore excursions with plenty of time to scout, setup and photograph under the midnight sun.

The photographic opportunities in the Scoresbysund fjord system are limitless and we intend to take maximum advantage of our time in this area. We will use zodiacs to make daily shore excursions for contemplative landscape photography as well as utilise zodiacs for iceberg photography as we cruise amongst the icebergs and brash ice. At this time of the year we are likely to also experience the first sea ice of the coming winter.

The Scoresbysund fjord system is home to some of the most incredible iceberg formations to be found anywhere in the world. As a result of the constant thawing and freezing of the glaciers there is an abundance of icebergs of infinite variety to be found drifting in the fjord system. Many of the icebergs are heavily castellated with electric blue cracks and fractures that are a photographers dream come true. The juxtaposition of these natural sculptures against the orange and red rock scarred landscape is not only awe inspiring in its primordial nature but completely unique. Nowhere else in the world can this combination and beauty be found on such a scale. In photographic terms the landscapes of the Scoresbysund fjord system are virgin ground. Very few expeditions venture into this area of Greenland and even fewer carry photographers.

The maximum number of participants on these two expeditions has been capped at just eleven people. By limiting the number of participants on the ship we ensure sufficient room for photography equipment, shooting positions and zodiac photography for all participants without having to compromise.

If you are excited by the idea of traveling to the remote East Coast of Greenland to photograph the incredible landscapes of this country with a small group of dedicated and passionate photographers now is the time to secure one of the few remaining places. Due to the initial registrations and bookings there are already only four places remaining on the first expedition and only three places on the second before both expeditions will be completely sold out. Full details including dates, costs and a detailed PDF itinerary can be downloaded from my website at www.jholko.com.

Photo of the Month December 2018 – Emperors Dance in Snowstorm

I am currently making my way back home from Antarctica and an absolutely superb expedition to the remote sea ice of Gould Bay where I was guiding an expedition to camp with and photograph the mighty Emperor Penguins. I will have a full trip report in a couple of weeks once my feet hit the ground and I have had a few days to catch up on jet lag, but in the meantime I can say it was a truly incredible and life-changing expedition on many levels.

It therefore feels appropriate that my photograph of the month for December 2018 is from a previous expedition to the sea ice of Gould Bay. Photographed well after midnight with the setting sun back lighting the flying snow as an Emperor Dances in the golden light. What really works for me is the quality of the light, the flying snow, the penguins gesture and the soft folds of the ice and snow in the background. It was a deliberate choice to use a fairly slow shutter speed to catch just the right amount of blur in the penguins wings and snow to help give a sense of movement which helps bring the photo to life. These sort of conditions can be very difficult to work in when you are cold and tired, but if you make the effort the rewards can be truly wonderful.