Greenland Expedition Announcement September 2019

It has been some time coming but I am pleased to now formally announce my 2019 expeditions to the spectacular Scoresby Sund fjord system on the east coast of Greenland with good friend Daniel Bergmann. For 2019 Daniel and I will be leading two back-to-back ‘fly-in, fly-out’ expeditions that will depart from Reykjavik via charter plane and land at Constable Point in Greenland. Flying to Greenland saves us two days sailing across open ocean in either direction and means we have more time for exploration and photography.

A few words on Greenland: Home to some of the most extraordinary geology to be found on earth, the red and orange glacial scarred landscape of Greenland stands in stark contrast to the electric blue icebergs that carve off its many glaciers and drift slowly down its precipitous fjords. It is a remote land of untamed and unbridled beauty that is rarely visited and even less rarely photographed. It is an incredible place to inspire the imagination and fuel your photographic desires.

The landscape and geology of the East Coast of Greenland is both stunning and extraordinary. Photographing this incredible landscape under soft golden Arctic light is our main objective. In fact, our entire expedition has been planned around us being on location at the best time of year for soft golden light. We will also see and photograph incredible castellated icebergs that have calved off the many glaciers of Greenland. Dramatic glaciers, plunging cliffs and beautiful drift ice formations will be present as well.

These expeditions have been more than two years in the planning and have been structured on our extensive experience in the region to provide the very best possible opportunities to photograph the incredible landscapes of the remote East Coast of Greenland in the Scoresbysund fjord system. With the sun low in the sky and at an oblique angle, late September and early October are the ideal times to photograph this region of the Arctic. Working during the best light of the day we will maximise our time for photography with daily shore excursions with plenty of time to scout, setup and photograph under the midnight sun.

The photographic opportunities in the Scoresbysund fjord system are limitless and we intend to take maximum advantage of our time in this area. We will use zodiacs to make daily shore excursions for contemplative landscape photography as well as utilise zodiacs for iceberg photography as we cruise amongst the icebergs and brash ice. At this time of the year we are likely to also experience the first sea ice of the coming winter.

The Scoresbysund fjord system is home to some of the most incredible iceberg formations to be found anywhere in the world. As a result of the constant thawing and freezing of the glaciers there is an abundance of icebergs of infinite variety to be found drifting in the fjord system. Many of the icebergs are heavily castellated with electric blue cracks and fractures that are a photographers dream come true. The juxtaposition of these natural sculptures against the orange and red rock scarred landscape is not only awe inspiring in its primordial nature but completely unique. Nowhere else in the world can this combination and beauty be found on such a scale. In photographic terms the landscapes of the Scoresbysund fjord system are virgin ground. Very few expeditions venture into this area of Greenland and even fewer carry photographers.

The maximum number of participants on these two expeditions has been capped at just eleven people. By limiting the number of participants on the ship we ensure sufficient room for photography equipment, shooting positions and zodiac photography for all participants without having to compromise.

If you are excited by the idea of traveling to the remote East Coast of Greenland to photograph the incredible landscapes of this country with a small group of dedicated and passionate photographers now is the time to secure one of the few remaining places. Due to the initial registrations and bookings there are already only four places remaining on the first expedition and only three places on the second before both expeditions will be completely sold out. Full details including dates, costs and a detailed PDF itinerary can be downloaded from my website at www.jholko.com.

Natures Best Photography 2018 Finalists and Category Winners

Natures Best Photography have now formally announced the Category Winners and Highly Honoured finalists in the 2018 Windland Smith Rice International Awards. I am extremely pleased that Ghosts of the Arctic was highly honoured in the video category. Out of more than 26,000 images and videos from photographers in 59 countries, approximately 1,000 photos and videos made it into the semi-final round of judging. Congratulations to all the winters and other highly honoured recipients.

See all the 2018 Windland Awards finalists: naturesbestphotography.com/winners

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

APPA – Australian Professional Photography Awards Finalist Nature Category 2018

The 2018 APPA (Australian Professional Photography Awards) awards wrapped up this evening with the awards ceremony and Gala dinner in Melbourne. Due to some personal commitments I was not able to attend the ceremony and dinner in person this year, but I did very much enjoy judging on the Saturday and Sunday. The standard of work this year was particularly strong (especially in the Nature category) with some absolutely outstanding images in all categories.

This year I chose to enter my four photographs into the Wildlife sub-category of Nature and was very pleased to have all four score extremely well. Whilst I didn’t quite reach my stretch goal of 6 points (I scored 5) I did accrue enough overall points to make the finals in the category (which in many ways is even better!) My individual prints scored 91 Gold Award (2 Points), 87 Silver with Distinction (1 Point), 85 Silver with Distinction (1 Point) and 85 Silver with Distinction (1 Point). I am now just one point (one point!) away from my 2nd Gold Bar and a double Master of Photography – M.Photog II. That honour will have to wait until APPA 2019 though. Importantly for me, I now have the five required Gold Awards (I already had the 10 required Silver with Distinctions) for the honour of Grand Master of Photography. That will come in a few more years I hope if I can amass enough points. In the meantime, my images from APPA 2018 below and congratulations to the winners of each category and the overall PPY winner. See you at APPA 2019…

Mother and Cub – 87 Silver with DistinctionPolar Bear on Blue Ice – 91 Gold AwardPolar Bear For-play – 85 Silver with DistinctionLone Gentoo – 85 Silver with Distinction

Ghosts of the Arctic Highly Honoured Natures Best Photography 2018

I received some news this morning that Ghosts of the Arctic has just been highly honoured in the 2018 Nature’s Best Photography Awards. Selected from more than 26,000 images and videos from photographers in 59 countries, the finalists in each category will be published in the 2018 Fall/Winter Special Awards Edition of Nature’s Best Photography magazine. Approximately 1,000 photos and videos made it into the semi-final round of judging to select the 123 current winners and highly honoured images.