My whirlwind stop at home in Melbourne, Australia has already come to an end (yes, I really do live here!) and as soon as I finish this post I am heading back to the airport to start the long haul north back to Iceland then onto Greenland for my two back-to-back expeditions to the East Coast and Scoresby Sund with Daniel Bergmann. Honestly, it feels like my feet have not even touched earth here in Australia and I am definitely not fully recovered from my Faroe Islands jet lag (Read the TRIP REPORT). Despite the fading case of jet lag I am really excited to be returning to Greenland. The massive icebergs and rugged landscape of Greenland are a a dynamic paradise for photographers. In particular the East Coast may just be my favourite place on earth to photograph. Check out the Adobe Spark Presentation HERE.
After I finish in Greenland I will be having a few days off in Helsinki before I start my Autumn workshop in the north of Finland for Wolves, Wolverines and Bears. Autumn is a gorgeous time to photograph in the forests of Northern Finland and with a little luck we will have some fantastic photographic encounters during our time on the Russian border. Finland is in my experience one of the most underrated wildlife destinations on earth. Not only does it offer up Bears, Wolverine, Wolves, Otters, Pine Martin and more, but it is also home to White-tailed Sea Eagles, Golden Eagles, Siberian Jays, Black and Spotted Woodpeckers and a host of other Arctic and Sub Arctic birds.
Packing for the East Coast of Greenland and Finland in Autumn presents a minor challenge. Although both will be similar in terms of temperature, they require quite different photographic approaches. With the emphasis in Greenland on landscape and the emphasis in Finland on Wildlife it requires quite a bit of thought on what equipment to actually pack in order to avoid taking absolutely everything. All of the below fits in my new Gura Gear Kiboko backpack (just!). Although I generally prefer a roller bag for airports (that I can then re-pack into a backpack) on this occasion a backpack makes more sense as I need to carry all my equipment from the airport at Constable point to our point of embarkation on our boat.
2 x Canon EOS 1DX MKII Cameras with 2 x Spare Batteries
1 x Canon 8-15mm Fish Eye
1 x Canon 11-24mm
1 x Canon 24-70mm F4L IS Lens
1 x Canon 100-400mm F3.5-5.6 IS MKII Lens
1 x 600mm F4L IS MKIII Lens
1 x 1.4 TC MKIII Teleconverter
1 x Lecia 10 x 42 HD Binoculars
If I had the space I would love to take a tilt shift lens or two with me as well as I find these really useful when working from ship. The keen eyed amongst you may notice I am not taking the EOSR or a tripod. Greenland is an active and dynamic place and I have found in the past a tripod is often more of a hindrance than a benefit; especially when things are happening quickly (such as icebergs rolling over). I will shoot handheld for these expeditions (or on a bean bag for my long lenses). For Finland I am packing my Sachtler fluid head to mount the 600mm inside the hides.
If you missed out on a place on the 2019 and 2020 expeditions but would like to travel to the East Coast of Greenland to photograph this amazing region then I will be repeating this very special ‘Winters Cusp’ expedition in September of 2021 (some places and cabins already spoken for). Full details are now available for download from my website at www.jholko.com including a complete PDF itinerary.
Lastly, there is no internet access during my time on the East Coast of Greenland; so if you contact me via email please be patient and I will get to you on my return as soon as possible. See you in Greenland!