Departing for Emperors Expedition 2018

It is hard to believe it has already been two years since I was last camped on the sea ice of Gould Bay in Antarctica to photograph the mighty Emperor Penguins (Read the Trip Report). Time has simply evaporated and in less than two days now I am really excited to again be starting the trek over to the bottom of South America to begin my 2018 expedition to the Emperor Penguins. Camping and living with the Emperors on the sea ice is one of the most amazing experiences I have been fortunate to have in my photographic travels. Like the previous expedition we will be flying down to land on the naturally occurring blue ice runaway at Union Glacier. From there will be taking a smaller twin-otter aircraft several hours out to the sea ice where we can establish a remote tent camp.

I am planning to try and shoot a bit of video this trip and will be taking a new Go Pro Hero 7 Black as well as an extra Canon EOS1DX MKII (just for video) as well as a dedicated microphone. I don’t pretend to be a videographer and I wont be shooting the sequel or follow up to Ghosts of the Arctic, but I would like to capture enough video to show just what its like to camp with the Emperor Penguins on the frozen sea ice in Antarctica.

My equipment for the Emperors expedition will be all too familiar to those of you who regularly follow my travels, workshops and expeditions. I am teaming up with a friend of mine for the video component (who is also a Canon shooter) so between us we will have just about everything covered. I will re-pack my camera gear on arrival into Punta Arenas into a back pack that will travel down to South America in my checked luggage. If you are wondering why the 300mm 2.8 and 400mm 2.8 its so I can share both lenses with the other Canon shooters.

Lightroom Roller(Carry on Luggage)

2 x Canon EOS 1DX MKII bodies (my friend is bringing a third for video)
1 x Canon 16-35mm F4L Lens
1 x Canon 11-24mm f4L Lens
1 x Canon 24-70mm F4L IS Lens
1 x Canon 70-200mm F2.8L MKII IS Lens
1 x Canon 400mm F2/8L IS MKII Lens
1 x Go Pro Hero7 Black w/ various accessories and spares
1 x Rhode Microphone

Gura Gear Chobe (Carry on Luggage)

1 x Apple MacBook Pro 15″ Retina
1 x Apple laptop charger
1 x Canon 300mm F2.8L MKII IS Lens
2 x USB 3 2TB external portable Sandisk SSD Drives
1 x  Thunderbolt CFast card reader and CF card Reader
1 x Sunglasses and sunglasses case

Etcetera Case #1 (Inside checked luggage)

1 x Canon 1-Series camera charger
1 x Power Adapter
2 x Canon 1DX spare Batteries
3 x Go Pro Spare Batteries

Other #1 (Inside checked luggage)

1 x Sachtler Flowtech 75 Carbon Tripod
1 x Sachtler FSB-6 Fluid Head

I had thought that this would be my last expedition to the Emperor Penguins but due to multiple requests I am confirming that I will have another expedition to the sea ice of Gould Bay for Emperors in November of 2020 (exact dates TBA – but it will be going ahead with several spots already spoken for). For those of you keen to get the jump and pre-register you can drop me an email to secure one of the remaining places. For now, I am keen to get my final packing done and get the long haul travel out of the way.

There will be minimal to no updates (other than a couple of scheduled posts) whilst I am in Antartica as there is no internet access out on the sea ice. Camped on the sea ice of Gould Bay we are about as remote and disconnected from civilisation as its possible to be. See you in South America and then onward to Antarctica!

 

Arctic Fox Winter Expedition 2019 Sold Out

My expedition to photograph Arctic Fox in the far north of Iceland in Winter (February) next year 2019 is now sold out – thank you to all those who are joining me on this special expedition. This will be sixth year in a row I will have travelled to the Hornstrandir Nature reserve in winter to photograph these tenacious little predators (Read the 2018 ExpeditionTrip Report) and I am really looking forward to returning yet again. The Arctic Fox is one of Nature’s greatest survivors and photographing them in winter in the snow and ice is an incredible experience.

Due to the initial registrations there are now also only two places remaining on the 2020 Arctic Fox Winter Expedition (not yet formally announced) before it will also be sold out. If you want to register to secure one of these last places two places please Contact Me as soon as possible.

Photo of the Month November 2018 – Emperor Colony

The photograph of the month for November 2018 comes from my 2016 expedition to the remote sea ice of Gould Bay in Antarctica to visit and photograph the Emperor Penguins (Read the Trip Report). This particular photograph remains one of my favourites from  this expedition. It includes the main Emperor colony  with the small fluffy chick leading the line of penguins that recedes off into the distance.

I am very excited that in less than two weeks now I will be returning to Gould Bay in Antarctica to lead my sold out 2018 expedition to the Emperor Penguins.  I am planning to shoot a bit more video this time and hope to have some behind the scenes snippets to show just what its like to participate in this expedition to one of the most remote and hard to reach places on the planet.

EmperorsExpedition2016-20102-Edit

In other news my blog has just gone through a fairly major behind the scenes update over the last few days. Most of the changes that needed to be made are ‘under the hood’, but there are a few cosmetic changes. As a result of these necessary upgrades you may need to re-subscribe if you want to be kept updated (apologies for that – it was unavoidable).

Lastly, to those of you who asked about Part Two of the Master the Craft series of articles, I am hoping to have Part Two ready late next week and will publish as soon as possible. Website updates, printing and life have just got in the way this week…

Photo of the Month October 2018 – The Wolverine

The photograph of the month for October 2018 comes from my recent trip to northern Finland. I had travelled to Finland to speak at the Nature Photo festival in Kuusamo (which was a fantastic event with some wonderful photography). Since Finland its such a long way from Australia (four flights each way) I decided to extend the trip by a few days and take the opportunity for some photography.

This photograph was made just near the northern Russian border with Finland from a small photo hide just near dusk. I was extremely fortunate to have this large Wolverine come very close to the hide just as the light was beginning to turn warm and golden. This sort of encounter doesn’t happen very often with wildlife and I had quite honestly expected to have to spend many hours or even days in the hide to catch a glimpse of a Wolverine. As it turned out I did not have to wait more than a couple of hours and was able to capture this wonderful moment with the Wolverine quite close to my hide position. What really works for me is the warm golden light catching the fur of the Wolverine and of course that wonderful moment with the huge paw (and claws!) on the log. I will be heading back to Finland in both Winter and Autumn next year for both landscape and wildlife (more to come on the Autumn workshop soon). The February winter workshop is primarily based in Kuusamo, although we will actually begin in Kajanni in the north of Finland where we will be working from private hides in an effort to photograph Wolves, Wolverine and Golden eagles in a snow covered landscape.

The main activity of this winter workshop is wildlife photography. However, you will also be able to take advantage of the spectacular winter landscape (the frozen trees and landscape of Finland in winter are superb for photography). This exclusive opportunity to photograph the wildlife and landscapes of northern Finland in Winter is for a strictly limited number of just 6 photographers plus leader and guide – with only two places remaining before it will be sold out. If you are interested in joining us and securing the last remaining place you can download a complete itinerary with costings and all details HERE.

Photo of the Month September 2018 – Polar Bear Reflections

The middle of September has rolled around and its high time for the photograph of the month. This photograph from my Polar Bears of Svalbard expedition this July and August. What I really love about this photograph is the sense of environment and space in which the Polar Bear lives. If memory serves correctly I think it was close to midnight when I took this photograph. The light is soft and ethereal and there was a light fog that just softened everything beautifully. The Polar Bear was wandering up and down the ice flow and paused for just a moment in just the right place for this photograph. This was quite close to our expedition ship and I was able to make this image with just a 24-70mm F4L IS lens. If you want to photograph Polar Bears like this up in the pack ice in their natural environment then there are now only three places left on my Svalbard High Arctic expedition next July before it will be sold out. You can drop me an email for further details or download the full PDF itinerary from my website at www.jholko.com