Departing for Namibia Desert Fire Safari 2018

The couple of weeks I have had to unpack, catch up and repack since I returned from the Nature Festival in Finland has quickly come and gone and very early tomorrow I am heading back to the airport to start the trek over to Africa for my 2018 Namibia Desert Fire Safari. It has been two years since I was last in Africa and I am very much looking forward to returning to the oldest desert in the world and the fantastic and diverse opportunities that Namibia always presents.On this safari we are going to visiting the ghost town of Kolmonskop, the giant sand dues of Sossusvlei (and of course the iconic Deadvlei), the spectacular skeleton coast and the wildlife rich region of Etosha. On top of this we have many other stop off locations planned along our journey. This year we will be kicking off our safari by flying down to Luderitz from the capital city of Windhoek. Flying saves us two days on the road and gives us even more time for photography in the field.This safari is a combination of both landscape and wildlife and as such I am packing both wide angle and super-telephoto lenses. All of this will pack into my F-Stop Lightroom Roller which I will use to get the equipment through the transit stage of my travels. I will then re-pack it on location into my F-stop backpack.

F- Stop Lightroom Roller Camera Bag:

  • 2 x Canon EOS 1DX MKII
  • 2 X Canon EOS 1DX MKII Spare Batteries
  • 1 x Canon 16-35mm F4L
  • 1 x Canon 24mm F3.5L TSE
  • 1 x Canon 24-70mm F4L IS
  • 1 x Canon 70-200mm F2.8L IS MKII (I am unsure if I will upgrade to the MKIII at this stage)
  • 1 x Canon 400mm F2.8L IS MKII
  • 1 x Canon 1.4 TC MKIII Teleconverter

In my checked luggage I am bringing the following:

  • 1 x Sachtler Flowtech Carbon Fire Tripod (the new model I have absolutely fallen in love with)
  • 1 x Arca Swiss Geared Tripod head
  • 1 x Canon 1DX MKII Battery Charger and Lens Cleaning Kit

Why No Canon Mirrorless R? 

I will have more to say about the new Canon mirrorless camera (and many of the other new cameras recently announced) in a new series of posts I am calling ‘Master the Craft’. I hope to publish the first of this new series while I am on the road.

Post Script – An update on the torn lateral tendon in my right elbow for those of you who kindly emailed me to see how it is progressing.  After very intensive physiotherapy over the last few months I have turned the corner and can again lift my camera without pain and discomfort. I am hopeful that this Namibia safari will be the first trip since Antarctica last year that I can work freely without pain in my right arm.

See you in Africa!

Faroe Islands Workshop 2019 Announcement – Limited Availability

In August next year I am running a ‘one-time only’ landscape workshop to the Faroe Islands with my good friend Martyn Lucas. The emphasis on this workshop is on the incredible landscape on offer and we plan to make the most of our time in the Faroes by maximising our time out in the field.The Faroe Islands are comprised of eighteen small rugged and rocky islands located in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, approximately halfway between Scotland and Iceland. The island’s position is unique and is the frame for breathtaking views; beautiful mountains, majestic fjords, dramatic sea cliffs; all in all a photographers paradise. The islands have a rich bird life, Including the largest colony of storm petrels in the world and over 305 bird species including Razor Bills and Atlantic Puffins.This workshop is for dedicated landscape photographers who are willing to work for their images. A small group of participants (maximum of 6 plus leaders) guarantees a more personal and intimate experience than bigger tours can provide. By keeping our group extremely small we can be mobile and move quickly to take advantage of changing weather and light.This is a unique opportunity to travel and photograph with two experienced professionals who have a combined total of more than 40 years of photographic experience and can take you to the best locations that are off the beaten track, and at the right time – when the light is best. You’ll be spending 9 days with others who are just as passionate about photography as you are, and to ensure everyone gets plenty of individual attention, the maximum number of participants is capped at six. We will be traveling in a comfortable large 4-wheel drive vehicle to give us plenty of space for camera equipment and gear. So bring what you need!This photography tour will last for nine (9) days, eight (8) nights. We will be staying in good hotels that are functional and clean. Breakfast and dinner are all included and will generally be held at the hotels where we are staying. However, this workshop tour is all about photography and we will be putting in long hours in the field in order to ensure we get the best possible light for photography. We will take food and drink with us into the field (for lunch) to ensure we are in the right locations get the best possible light. There will be some moderate hiking on uneven ground and a reasonable level of fitness is recommended. There is no obligation to participate in any hikes and every effort will be made to accommodate any requests.

There will be an (optional) opportunity to climb Staettaratindur, the highest mountain in the Faroe Islands. The mountain is 882 metres tall and the climb is approximately a four hour round trip with outstanding views.

If you are interested in joining us and securing one of the last remaining places you can download a complete itinerary with costings and all details HERE.

Australasian Nature Photography Exhibition 2018

The Australasian Nature Photography exhibition is now open at the South Australian Museum in Adelaide until the 11th of November this year. The exhibition includes work from all of the finalists from the 2018 Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year competition. I am pleased to say it includes one of my photographs as a finalist – Antarctic Sound Tabular Dawn. Taken from the deck of our expedition class ship ‘Polar Pioneer’ it documents the formation of ‘grease-ice’ snaking its way across the surface as the first light of dawn breaks across the face of a giant tabular iceberg. 

Photo of the Month August 2018 – Skeleton Coast Namibia

I returned home to Australia very early this morning from my Svalbard Polar Bear expedition (trip report coming soon). With jet lag already hitting hard I decided to take the opportunity and do a quick blog update with the photograph of the month for August 2018 – An aerial photograph of the Skeleton Coast in Namibia. It was taken during a ‘doors off’ helicopter photography session over the golden dunes just after sunrise. One of the most enjoyable aspects of this sort of photography over the desert is the incredible light found both in the morning and evening. With the sun at a low angle in the sky the shapes, shadows and textures of the dunes are emphasised as they glow with soft light.

I will be returning to Namibia in a couple of months for my bi-annual workshop and we will again be taking up the helicopter both morning and evening for plenty of ‘doors off’ aerial photography. If you are interested in joining us there are just two places remaining before the experience will be sold out.

Namibia Desert Fire Safari 2018 – Last Two Places Left

In October this year I am leading my bi-annual safari to the gigantic sand desert of Namibia. At this stage there are now just two places remaining before the workshop will be sold out. Namibia is an epic world class location for both landscape and wildlife photography and best of all.. we are going to be doing both on this trip! We will be spending time at the ghost town of Kolmonskop, the giant sand dunes of Sossusvlei, the iconic salt pans of Deadvlei and the wildlife rich region of Etosha. If you are interested in joining us please drop me an email at info@jholko.com to secure your place. A full PDF itinerary can be downloaded HERE.