Photo of the Month December 2018 – Emperors Dance in Snowstorm

I am currently making my way back home from Antarctica and an absolutely superb expedition to the remote sea ice of Gould Bay where I was guiding an expedition to camp with and photograph the mighty Emperor Penguins. I will have a full trip report in a couple of weeks once my feet hit the ground and I have had a few days to catch up on jet lag, but in the meantime I can say it was a truly incredible and life-changing expedition on many levels.

It therefore feels appropriate that my photograph of the month for December 2018 is from a previous expedition to the sea ice of Gould Bay. Photographed well after midnight with the setting sun back lighting the flying snow as an Emperor Dances in the golden light. What really works for me is the quality of the light, the flying snow, the penguins gesture and the soft folds of the ice and snow in the background. It was a deliberate choice to use a fairly slow shutter speed to catch just the right amount of blur in the penguins wings and snow to help give a sense of movement which helps bring the photo to life. These sort of conditions can be very difficult to work in when you are cold and tired, but if you make the effort the rewards can be truly wonderful.

 

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!

 

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…

AIPP Luminous Project Print Auction 2018

Unless you are a member of the AIPP (Australian Institute of Professional Photography) you probably haven’t heard of the AIPP’s Luminous Project. The Luminous Project was a concept created a few years ago, and has been designed to celebrate photographic excellence, community spirit and offering photographers a helping hand when needed.

 One part of the Project is the Luminous Fund, which has been established to accept donations and bequests, and raise funds via the Luminous Auction. This is a silent auction run online, comprised of photographs from the year’s APPA submissions, with images selected before the judging to ensure the print’s score is not a consideration. Previous auctions have raised over $11,500 for the Luminous Fund, which is set aside in the accounts and only used for the purposes of the Luminous Project.

This year’s silent auction offers prints, chosen from this year’s 2018 APPA entries, with the objective of raising funds for The Luminous Grant for student education. This year I am pleased to announce that one of my photographs ‘Lone Gentoo’ from Antarctica has been selected (the print scored a Silver with Distinction at APPA), and a 13 x 19 inch print will be auctioned for the Luminous Fund. Only 15 images were selected in total this year, so its quite an honour to be chosen.

You can bid on the print of your choice HERE. Prints are available for bidding until 5pm AEST Monday 17th September 2018 on the AIPP Galabid site.

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.