Arctic Fox Winter 2019 Expedition Report

In February of 2019 I lead my annual expedition to the remote Hornstrandir Nature reserve in the far north west of Iceland to photograph Arctic Fox in winter. I have been travelling and photographing Arctic Fox in this part of Iceland for many years now and it never ceases to be any less exciting or wonderful. Being in a beautiful and spectacular remote location in the depths of winter, surrounded by wild Arctic Fox is quite literally a wildlife photographers nirvana.

This year we were extremely fortunate to encounter a total of six individual foxes including five blue morphs and one white morph (although the white morph was at a distance). Even more exciting was that we experienced and photographed some truly superb interactions and behaviour between the foxes as they went about their daily lives. This year, perhaps more than any other, we had the opportunity to catch the foxes fighting and squabbling amongst themselves.

Winter was late to arrive this year in Iceland with generally lower than previous years snowfall. However, we did experience one day of absolutely incredible snow and wind that provided simply wonderful photographic opportunities (our best day).  We experienced a variety of weather during this expedition that included everything from overcast, sunshine, to rain and snow blizzard. The variety of weather gave us many different opportunities; with the driving snow being my preferred option.

I lost track of how many hours we spent this year photographing the foxes, but it would be fair to say that we put in a solid days photography every day with almost all of our time spent in the field behind the camera. We had very little down time in the field as the foxes were extremely active the majority of the time.

As per previous years we took the opportunity to visit the Arctic Fox centre in Sudavik (this time at the conclusion of our expedition) where we had the opportunity to learn a little more about this amazing mammal. It was also a personal thrill for me to see my photographs now adorning the walls of the centre.

My 2020 Winter expedition to photograph Arctic Fox in the remote north west Hornstrandir Reserve in Iceland is long sold out. If you missed out and are keen to photograph this tenacious little predator in a spectacular winter setting then I am now taking bookings for the 2021 expedition. The 2021 expedition will run from February 1st until February 6th (6 Days / 5 Nights) and includes return private transfer in a charter boat to our private cabin (departing from the town of Isafjord), accomodation in private rooms in the cabin, breakfast, lunch and dinner for the duration of the expedition and all photographic instruction.

Our accommodation for the expedition is a cozy but rugged haven for photographers to enjoy a great atmosphere after a day out in the cold photographing Arctic FoxesThe house was originally built in 1921. In 1948 (just 27 years later), the last inhabitants left this isolated arctic peninsula in search of a better life. The cabin was abandoned for many years and has only recently been restored. Although no one lives here permanently, the cabin is a great getaway and the perfect place to accommodate us whilst we photograph wild Arctic Foxes. Curious Arctic Foxes frequently stop past the cabin to investigate visitors and it is possible to even photograph them from right outside the cabin on occasion. Life is simple in the cabin and you’ll be taken back in time as you enjoy how people lived in the area more than sixty years ago.

If you are interested in photographing one of Nature’s greatest feats of engineering in a beautiful and private winter setting then please drop me an email to register your interest.

Arctic Foxes of Iceland in Winter 2021 Expedition

The detailed PDF itinerary for the 2021 expedition to the Hornstrandir Nature Reserve in the North West of Iceland to photograph Arctic Fox is now online. You can get an idea of what this photographic expedition is like by reading the 2018 Trip Expedition Report HERE (I will have the 2019 Report online in the next few days). The 2020 Expedition is already sold out – but bookings are now open for 2021. Just drop me an email to register your interest. Please visit the Arctic Fox Portfolio on my website to get an idea of the sort of photographs you can make on this unique and very special expedition.

Arctic Fox Expedition 2020 SOLD OUT

My 2020 Winter expedition to photograph Arctic Fox in the remote north west Hornstrandir Reserve in Iceland is now sold out. If you missed out and are keen to photograph this tenacious little predator in a spectacular winter setting then I am now taking bookings for the 2021 expedition. The 2021 expedition will run from February 1st until February 6th (6 Days / 5 Nights) and includes return private transfer in a charter boat to our private cabin (departing from the town of Isafjord), accomodation in private rooms in the cabin, breakfast, lunch and dinner for the duration of the expedition and all photographic instruction.

Our accommodation for the expedition is a cozy but rugged haven for photographers to enjoy a great atmosphere after a day out in the cold photographing Arctic FoxesThe house was originally built in 1921. In 1948 (just 27 years later), the last inhabitants left this isolated arctic peninsula in search of a better life. The cabin was abandoned for many years and has only recently been restored. Although no one lives here permanently, the cabin is a great getaway and the perfect place to accommodate us whilst we photograph wild Arctic Foxes. Curious Arctic Foxes frequently stop past the cabin to investigate visitors and it is possible to even photograph them from right outside the cabin on occasion. Life is simple in the cabin and you’ll be taken back in time as you enjoy how people lived in the area more than sixty years ago.

The cabin includes:

– Bathroom, toilet and hot shower.
– Bunk-bed accommodation with duvets provided
– Full kitchen (chef to prepare meals and clean)
– Hydronic and log fire heating
– Power for laptops and battery charging (generator provided) – Outdoor Sauna

If you are interested in photographing one of Nature’s greatest feats of engineering in a beautiful and private winter setting then please drop me an email to register your interest.

In Search of the Wolverine in Finland in Winter

Late yesterday I wrapped up six days of personal photography in northern Finland (in no mans land on the Russian border) trying to photograph Wolverine in winter. I decided to keep a daily video journal of the time I spent in the hide trying to photograph this elusive and shy animal. I uploaded the videos daily to social media via a pretty good 3G connection, but have now compiled them into a chronological time-line that I hope gives some insight into what it is like to spend day after day in a hide waiting for the opportunity to photograph rare and elusive wildlife. Peta-Pixel have now also picked up this story and have published it on their website.

I am now headed to Iceland to lead my annual expedition to the Hornstrandir Nature reserve in the North West fjords to photograph Arctic Fox in winter. I am really looking forward to returning to this remote area and the opportunity to again photograph these incredible animals with a small group of dedicated and passionate photographers. Perhaps best of all is that no hides are required in this area!

Departing for the Arctic in Winter 2019

We are more than half way through January and well and truly rolling  into 2019 now. It feels like Christmas and the New Year evaporated under the heat of the Australian sun (and it has been very hot this summer). I know I frequently say it, but I really do feel like time is speeding up! Tomorrow I will be leaving Australia to kick off my year with expeditions and workshops to the Arctic in Winter. My first stop is northern Canada to complete my scouting trip for the Snowy Owls workshop I will lead back there in December this year. From northern Canada I will travel to northern Finland for my winter wildlife and landscape workshop. And from Finland I will travel back to Iceland for my annual Arctic Fox expedition into the Hornstrandir Nature reserve. After that I will return to Svalbard for both a personal snow mobile expedition as well as leading an expedition with clients before I wrap up winter with a ship based expedition north of Longyearbyen. Winter is without doubt my favourite time of the year to visit the Arctic and I am itching to get up into the cold, ice and snow and escape the oppressive heat of the Australian summer.

This series of trips takes in more than a dozen flights and countless lay overs, security screenings and customs clearances. Quite honestly I am not looking forward to the customs and securities formalities. Airports have become so impersonal in recent years and any joy that was to be found between actual flights has been exterminated by the overlords like something out of a George Orwell novel. There is literally nothing glamorous about airline travel these days! With that said I am trying to pack a little lighter (hilarious I know…) than I might otherwise do to try and ease my airport travel. Although I need the two big north face duffels for all my winter clothing I am trying to keep camera gear to a minimum- well, as minimum as can be. My list for these trips as below:

  • 2 x Canon EOS 1DX MKII Cameras
  • 2 x 1DX MKII Spare batteries
  • 1 x Canon 16-35mm F4L IS (Id like to take the 11-24mm.. but the extra weight and size made me remove it).
  • 1 x Canon 24-70mm F4L IS
  • 1 x Canon 70-200mm f2.8L IS MKII
  • 1 x Canon 300mm f2.8L IS MKII
  • 1 x Canon 600mm F4L IS MKII
  • 1 x Canon 1.4 TC MKIII
  • 1 x ProFoto B10 AIR TTL Portable Light System & OFC Magnum Light Shaper

I would like to take my Go Pro system, a gimbal and various accessories but something has to give and this time the video equipment will stay at home.  Instead, I am taking a new ProFoto B10 Light – more on what I intend to use this for later. Time permitting, I will do my best to post some updates from the road and hopefully some photographs as well. See you in Canada!