Moab and Legion paper have just released a new Power of the Print Video as part of the Moab Masters series. I have been working with Moab as one of their Master Printers for more than eight years now and I am still just as passionate about printing today as I was back in the film days – actually even more so. Moab still produce my favourite paper for printing – Moab Somerset Museum Rag. An absolutely gorgeous rag paper with a wonderful surface stipple that reproduces the texture and tone of snow and ice with a majesty and tactility that I find unmatched by any other paper I have tried. If you are not printing your photographs you really are missing out on what is probably the most satisfying and enjoyable aspect of the entire photographic process. My sincere thanks to Tony Knight and This is My Life for the video production.
The 2019 APPA (Australian Professional Photography Awards) wrapped up a couple of days ago with the awards ceremony and Gala dinner in Sydney, Australia. Due to my workshop commitment in the Faroe Islands I was unable to attend this year so caught up on most of the judging and results through the live-stream (isn’t technology wonderful!). This year I again chose to enter my four prints into the Nature category and was pleased to have all four prints score extremely well – including a much coveted Gold and Gold with Distinction. I was also a finalist (for the second year in a row) in the Nature category. This year I achieved my stretch goal of 6 points and accrued more than enough overall points to achieve my 2nd Gold Bar and make the finals in the category. My individual prints scored 95 Gold with Distinction (2 Points), 90 Gold Award (2 Points), 88 Silver with Distinction (1 Point) and 85 Silver with Distinction (1 Point). Yes, that 88 was agonisingly close to a third Gold! I am now just five points away from my 3rd Gold Bar and a triple Master of Photography – M.Photog III. That honour will have to wait until APPA 2020 though (assuming I can amass the five points!).
All of the prints I entered were printed on Moab Somerset Museum Rag. As I wrote for the 2019 VPPY awards; this wonderfully sublime paper has continued to remain my stock of choice for all my fine art photography prints. If you love printing and are not familiar with this paper I urge you to check it out and get a sample pack.
To help provide some insight into the judging at APPA I captured and uploaded the live-stream video of the judging of my four prints in the Nature category. Keep in mind, you are listening to individual opinions – hence a panel of five judges. What is really interesting is to compare the scores and the comments from the state awards earlier this year.
Arctic Fox Blizzard – 95 Gold with Distinction. This print went for review at the end of the judging and was successfully elevated to a final score of 95 – a Gold with Distinction Award.
Penguin Love – 90 Gold Award. This print went for review at the end of the judging and was successfully elevated to a final score of 90 – a Gold Award.
Lost in a Blizzard – 85 Silver with Distinction
Reindeer Face Off – 88 Silver with Distinction
Those of you who kindly emailed me (thank you) asking for my thoughts on the category winning images and the level of “hyper-post production” applied to them: All I can say is I personally felt it far exceeded what should be acceptable in the Nature category. I do want to thank those of you who took the time to write to me about it – thank you.
By invitation from the Ministry of Culture of Cuba I am extremely excited to announce today that I will be opening a new joint exhibition with American Photographer and friend Paul Murray, titled “ANTIPODES” in Cuba in November this year 2019. The exhibition will open in Camaguey on the 1st of November this year and will travel onward to both Santiago De Cuba before concluding in Havana Cuba 2020 early next year.
This two-person photographic exhibition consists of approximately 18 – 20 photographs from each artist. Holko’s photographs capture the life of the Emperor Penguins of Antarctica in their natural environment while Murray’s images portray the wildlife and natural lands of Namibia. Both works are of outstanding quality and rarity and should be a great opportunity for the Cuban audience to enjoy this very special carefully curated selection. The exhibition opens in Camagüey and will extend to Santiago de Cuba and Havana.
This exhibition project arises as a direct result of curator M.Sc. Juan Carlos Mejías Ruiz, who wants to show the art from these “magicians” of the lens to the Cuban public. This exhibition will be one of the most important to open during the realisation of the 2019 Noviembre Fotografico and will be inaugurated on Friday, November 1st, in the Republica 289 gallery. Both photographers are “Major League” professionals with the experience and curriculum to match their work.
Artists from other countries, including Spain, Italy, and Germany are also planned to participate this November in additional Camaguey-based exhibits. At some point during the artists’ stay in the city, there will be a meeting with the nature photography group Bioencuadre, where work experiences are exchanged and professional links will be created.
The Provincial Council of the Plastic Arts of Camagüey is working steadily to support Noviembre Fotografico building on the outstanding results of its previous efforts in 2018, which involved a considerable number of the public and generated a group of activities and content that enriched the city’s panorama of the visual arts and culture achieving a prominent presence in national, international media and social networks.
With time marching ever onward my brief respite at home in Australia after my recent Svalbard High Arctic expedition (Read the Trip Report) has already come to an end and early tomorrow morning I am heading back to the airport to start the trek back north (via London and Copenhagen) for my 2019 workshop to the Faroe Islands with good friend Martyn Lucas.
Packing for the Faroe Islands is a bit of a compromise for me. Although the primary emphasis on this workshop is definitely landscape, we will also be taking the opportunity to photograph Atlantic Puffins and the many sea birds found along the Islands precipitous sea cliffs. As such, I need to pack some wildlife kit as well as my usual landscape equipment. Although I could probably get by with just my 100-400mm lens for the Puffins the reality is that I know I will miss the 400mm 2.8L IS MK3 and as such this lens is a must take for me. With that in mind, my equipment for this workshop as follows:
– Canon EOS R Mirrorless Camera with RRS L Bracket (and spare batteries)
– Canon EOS RF to EF Adapter
– Canon 16-35mm F4L
– Canon 24-70mm F4L IS
– Canon 100-400mm F3.5 – 5.6 IS MKII
– Canon EOS 1DX MKII (with spare battery)
– Canon 400mm F2.8L IS MKIII
– Nisi Filter Kit including Graduated ND Filters, ND Filters and Circular Polariser
– Gitzo Carbon Fibre Tripod with Arca Swiss D4 Geared Head
– Cable Release
The Faroe Islands have long been on my list to photograph as part of a workshop and I am really excited to get underway with a small group of passionate attendees. See you in the Faroes in a few days! The below photograph courtesy Martyn Lucas.
The photograph of the month for August 2019 comes from my winter snow mobile expedition to Svalbard earlier this year (Read the Trip Report) and is of two Reindeer facing off for a small patch of turf during a heavy blizzard in the wilds of the Svalbard winter landscape. This was a very difficult photograph to make with strong blowing snow and extreme cold in very difficult conditions. Although I pre-visualised the exact moment I wanted in relation to the juxtaposition of the Reindeer I had to move very quickly to secure the shot. Depth of field, shutter speed, camera angle and split second timing were all critical capture the moment of eye connection between the animals with perfect leg and body placement. It was also critical to maintain separation of the antlers. This photograph was part of my winning portfolio of images for the 2019 Victorian AIPP Epson Nature Photographer of the Year.