In less than a week, I will be departing Australia and making my way to Iceland for my 2022 Winter Arctic Fox Expedition and then onto Finland for my Winter Wolves and Wildlife workshop. These are my first workshops for the 2022 year and I am really excited to get back out into the field. Although I managed to escape Australia in October of 2021 (Read the trip Report) for an Autumn workshop to Finland, this is winter and my favoruite time of the year to visit both Iceland and Finland. Not only do I get to escape the brutal Australian summer, I get to spend time with Arctic Foxes and Wolves in their resplendant winter coats in the snow of the Arctic winter. To say I am excited would be a serious understatement.
This will be my first real opportunity to test the Canon EOS R3 in the field in real winter and I am really excited to see how it performs in the cold. Both of these expeditions are dedicated to wildlife and as such I will be packing my long lenses for this trip. There are also some wonderful landscape opportunities around the frozen lakes in Finland and as such I will also take both a wide-angle and mid range zoom with me. My intention is to try and run fully mirrorless this trip. I am really only packing the 1DX MK3 and 600mm lens as a back up in case I have issues with the R3 in the cold. As you can see, the only lens that I am packing that will actually work with the 1DX MK3 is the 600mm EF MK3.
I have just published Episode #36 of my Wild Nature Photography Podcast. This podcast episode includes a discussion of the World Photographic Cup as well as an update on upcoming workshops and expeditions (including Iceland, Finland, Ellesmere Island, and Svalbard) and a bit of a rant on the requirement for expensive PCR tests for international travel.
It has been some time coming with the pandemic, but I am pleased to now formally announce my 2024 expedition to the spectacular Scoresby Sund fjord system on the east coast of Greenland. For 2024 I will be leading a ‘fly-in, sail-out expedition that will depart from Reykjavik via charter plane and land at Constable Point in Greenland. Flying to Greenland saves us two days sailing across the open ocean 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.
This expedition has been more than two years in the planning now and has been structured 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 this expedition has been capped at just sixteen 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 your place. Full details including dates, costs and a detailed PDF itinerary can be downloaded from my website at www.jholko.com in the workshops tab.
Both my 2022 and 2023 Winter expeditions to Ellesmere Island with friend and fellow photographer David Gibbon to find and photograph the incredible white Arctic Wolf are now sold out. In addition to the white Arctic Wolf, we will also search for Arctic Fox, Arctic Hare, Musk Ox, and Polar Bears. We are currently considering a future expedition for 2024 and like our 2022 and 2023 expeditions, participant numbers will be extremely limited (we will only take 4 photographers). Winter temperatures on Ellesmere at this time of year frequently dip to -40º Celsius and below, and as such participants must be physically fit and capable of withstanding extreme cold for extended periods. As such all applications are screened for suitability and experience. If you feel you have the ‘right-stuff’ and if you are looking for a unique and special experience to photograph the incredible animals that survive in the Arctic winter then drop me an email to register your interest. No obligation at this point.
In some exciting news, I learned early this morning that my Snowy Owl photograph titled, ‘Phantom of the Opera’ took out the Best of Nation award at the 2022 World Photographic Cup. The photograph is now also a top ten Finalist in the Nature Category. The Gold, Silver and Bronze medals will be announced in March in two months’ time – fingers crossed!