Ultimate Encounters Features Ice Whisperer Interview

Ultimate Encounters has just published a short interview I did with Nick Walton on my Polar Photography.

Multi-award-winning Arctic photographer Joshua Holko talks polar travel essentials and his love affair with the world’s coldest destinations.

Did you always want to be a photographer?

Yes, but it took me many years to work out what I really wanted to photograph. In the early days, when I was shooting slide film, I was mostly shooting rock climbing and the landscapes of  Australia; it was not until I first visited the polar regions that I really found my calling and knew what I wanted to photograph full-time.

Can you tell us the story behind your winning shot, Protecting the Kill?

The photograph was taken on the frozen Templefjord, north of Longyearbyen, during a personal snowmobile expedition to Svalbard, Norway, one winter. It shows a female polar bear backlit by the setting winter sun. Her breath was steaming in the freezing air as she guarded a recent
bearded seal kill.

What photographic gear do you usually take on an expedition?

I usually bring at least three camera bodies as I like to photograph with multiple bodies at the same time. This can be really helpful in photographing quickly moving wildlife, where a lens change would result in a missed shot. I also take an assortment of lenses with me, from an ultrawide angle (11mm) all the way to super-telephoto (typically 600mm).

Can you give us some tips on how to capture the Arctic world?

The Arctic is incredible for its grandeur and scale, but it can be difficult to capture in a single image. I tend to focus more on details and look very hard for objects that help give a sense of scale to the photograph. Wildlife is fantastic for this, but I might equally include an expedition ship in the image or perhaps even a solitary bird on an iceberg. I also like to photograph wildlife in the context of their environment. It’s very important to get down low to eye level with your subject in order to connect with it and to create more intimate images.

Click HERE to read the full interview.

Merry Christmas and Seasons Greetings 2020

I wanted to wish all of you who may have travelled and photographed with me either past, present or future, who follow my blog and photography or even just stumbled across my work somewhere, a very happy and safe Christmas and festive season. It has been a tumultuous year, and I wish you good health and happiness and all the very best for the festive season and New Year. Roll on 2021 and the Vaccine!

Travel Photographer of the Year Finalist 2020

I received some exciting news yesterday morning that I have again been selected as a finalist with five photographs across two seperate categories in the 2020 Travel Photographer of the Year competition. This was actually quite a surprise to me as I have no recollection of actually entering this year. I took a hiatus from the competition last year as I was focusing all my efforts on local print competition only. This year I had thought to do the same as last and keep my focus solely on local printing, but as It happens must have entered at some point (no old age comments!). As final judging has not yet taken place I am unable to share the photographs at this point, but will do so once judging is complete.

This is the first year in many I believe that the final round of judging for TPOTY will not be via prints; but instead will be of digital images. I assume this is as a result of the continual COVID mess across Europe (thankfully Australia is now COVID free as of late November 2020).

Travel Photographer of the Year competition has been one of the few photographic competitions remaining today that still judge the ‘print’ (in the finals) rather than a compressed jpeg. I wrote quite some years ago now of my disillusionment with so many of the photography competitions that make their judgements solely on a jpeg file. The craft of producing a beautiful fine art print is one of the most enjoyable aspects of photography for me and is how I prefer to have my work viewed. Hopefully 2021 will see a return to print judging.

Latitude Photography Podcast Polar Photography

Brent Bergherm over at Latitude Photography has just published a new Podcast episode on my Polar Photography. We recorded the podcast earlier this year, but with COVID and all the other world issues at play it took a little while to get published.  The podcast covers how I got started as a specialist Polar Photographer, preparing for the shoot, the Falkland Islands and what makes them special, Souther Georgia Island and a lot more. Listen to the Podcast.