Australia World Photographic Cup Selection 2019 Nature Category

In some exciting news, I recently learned that one of my photographs from APPA this year (READ the Round Up) has been selected to represent Australia in the World Photographic Cup Nature category.  This is the second time one of my photographs has been chosen to represent Australia in this prestigious competition. Last time it was the reportage category with one of my photographs taking out the Bronze Medal. I cant as yet share which photograph has been selected – but will do so as soon as I am able.

The WPC was founded in 2013 as a cooperative effort by The Federation of European Photographers (FEP) and Professional Photographers of America (PPA). Its singular goal is to unite photographers in a spirit of friendship and cooperation. A Governing Committee has been created to conduct the ongoing affairs of the competition, also supported by UAPP (United Asian Professional Photography) and AIPP (Australian Institute of Professional Photography). The brotherhood and sisterhood of photography is a bond that transcends language, culture, and geography. That’s the foundation behind the World Photographic Cup, an one of a kind international team competition. Sure, there are lots of other competitions, but there is just one World Photographic Cup.

Further information can be found here: http://www.worldphotographiccup.org/

Legion Paper and Moab Feature Emperor Penguins at Photo Plus 2019

This year at PhotoPlus in New York Moab and Legion paper featured one of my Emperor Penguin photographs from my 2018 expedition (Read the Trip Report). Printed on Somerset Museum Rag paper in 20″ x 30″ this paper remains my absolute favourite and go to paper for all my printing. I was unable to attend in person this year due to my travel commitments in Cuba and upcoming travel in Mongolia; but am hoping to be in attendance and speaking at the show in 2020.

Happy Ten Years Blogging Birthday!

It almost slipped past without me noticing, but this week marks the ten year anniversary of when I first sat down and started writing  about my photography and travels in a blog and website. I never would have imagined where this journey might have taken me when I started and it feels like many lifetimes ago that I first began writing for this site. Back then, I was not travelling anywhere near as much as I do nowadays, but I was just as keen and passionate about photography and the polar regions then as I am today.

So what does the next ten years hold? Honestly, I am not entirely sure at this point. One thing I do know is that I will continue to pursue my photography and workshop teaching for at least the foreseeable future. Working with other photographers who are extremely passionate about their work is not only infectious, but ultimately it is extremely inspiring and and gratifying. I get a huge amount of pleasure and satisfaction out of both sharing the photographic process and watching others  improve their photography. I recently spent the better part of a week in the USA teaching the photographic print process in a private workshop and I have to say I enjoyed this every bit as much as the actual physical act of making photographs. I subsequently spent a week in Cuba opening my new Exhibition Antipodes and likewise very much enjoyed the experience.

My passion for the protection of the worlds polar regions is as strong today (perhaps even more so) as it was when I began this journey. My work in the Arctic Arts project and other conservation areas remains as important to me today as ever before. As we march inexorably onward toward the total climate driven destruction of our planet the relevance of not only documenting, but presenting this work to the world rises to critical mass. As one individual, I can only do so much – but I plan to continue to donate a percentage of all my print sales proceeds to the preservation of  wildlife.

 

Photo of the Month November 2019 – Arctic Fox Blizzard

The photograph of the month for November 2019 comes from my 2019 expedition to photograph Arctic Fox in the north of Iceland (Read the Trip Report) and is of a blue morph arctic fox during a blizzard at Kviar. This was I felt our best day with soft overcast light and falling snow that added the magical element to the mix. Blue Morph Arctic Fox are my favourite morph to photograph in these conditions. There is a wonderful contrast between the fur of the fox and the white snow that really works for me.

Antipodas Exhibition in Cuba Now Open 2019

Yesterday I opened my new exhibition ‘Antipodas’ here in Camaguey in Cuba with friend Paul Murray. By invitation from the Minister of Arts of Cuba, the exhibition includes a curated selection of twenty of my Fine Art Prints of Emperor Penguins from Gould Bay in Antarctica and a selection of Paul’s work from our 2018 Namibia workshop. Each of my photographs was printed on Moab Somerset Museum Rag in 20” x 30” format. Since travel from Australia to Cuba with twenty framed prints of this size was logistically impossible, we chose to display them unframed with a wall hanging system; which has worked exceptionally well. The opening was a smash success with well over a hundred people in attendance with standing room only.

The exhibition will remain on display here in Camaguey until December before it makes its way to Santiago De Cuba and finally to Havana where it will conclude at the end of February 2020. Some of these photographs will also be on display at my new Frozen in Time Exhibition opening in Melbourne Australia in June next year. You can download a digital catalogue of the photographs from the Cuba exhibit HERE.

About Cuba: This has been my first visit to Cuba and it has certainly left an impression on me. Cuba itself is like a wax museum with a pulse. It is a place frozen in time that bustles with friendly energy, street charm and that oozes character from its many cobblestone streets. It is far removed from my usual travel destinations and the sort of photographic opportunities it offers are a distant galaxy to my Polar landscape and wildlife work. Of course, the temperature and humidity here are far from my preferred environment, but one has to accept that it is the Caribbean after all.

In regards to the Cuban street photography scene – Personally, I find the sort and type of street photography Cuba offers either far too voyeristic, when executed with a telephoto lens from a distance; or far to confronting when engaging at close range with a wide angle lens (which is really what is required to produce the best work). The huge socio economic divide strikes a deep and sensitive chord that makes me at best uncomfortable; even when I have engaged with the subject and have their permission to take the photograph. I should note at this point, that in my experience, the people of Cuba are exceptionally warm, friendly and inviting. However, the socio economic divide remains an invisible and impenatrable barrier for me that I personally really struggle with. I do very much love and appreciate street photography when it is well executed, but feel no need or desire to force myself out of my comfort zone just to get a photograph. By contrast, I am quite comfortable in Nature sitting in a hide day after day in freezing temperatures, or searching the frozen sea ice in search of Polar bears – I love this process and that is what matters to me. I would much rather be face-to-face with a Polar bear on the sea ice than face-to-face with humanity in the street. Ironically, I can see great photographs everywhere as I wander the streets of Cuba, but the process of street photography is quite simply not for me. Fortunately, I can enjoy the many evocative and powerful photographs in a work such as Vivir Con * in my own time and from the comfort of my own living room.

If you are a dedicated street photographer I think you will find Cuba is just about nirvana. Between the old cars, the rustic dilapidated buildings, and the friendly faces full of character on every corner there is enough material here to keep even the most ardent and dedicated street photographer active for weeks at a time. I can clearly see why so many street photographers are drawn to the urban scene in Cuba. I can sum up my thoughts by acknowledging that Cuba may be a street photographers paradise, but I am no street photographer.

* Vivir Con by Carolina Sandretto is a highly engaging and emotional exposition into Cuban family life and the relationships between the spaces they live in. I may well review this book in full at a later date, but in short, I highly recommend you consider adding this powerful work to your photographic library.