Emperor Penguin Expedition 2020 SOLD OUT

My November 2020 Expedition to the remote Sea Ice of Gould Bay in Antarctica to photograph the mighty Emperor Penguins is already sold out. I was last in Gould Bay back in 2018 (Read the Trip Report) and next years expedition will be my fifth sojourn to Union Glacier and the remote sea ice at Gould Bay. This is a region of Antarctica that is extremely remote and that is home to one of the largest Emperor Penguin colonies in Antarctica.  It is an absolutely incredible place to visit and photograph these remarkable birds.

Departing for Mongolia 2019 In Search of the Pallas Cat

A week at home in Australia has already come and gone and tomorrow I am heading back to the airport (I have lost count of how many times I have been to the airport this year) to begin the lengthy trek to the wild outback regions of Mongolia. This expedition begins with a non stop flight from Melbourne to Beijing before a transfer and second flight from Beijing to Ulanbatar (the capital of Mongolia). From the capital it will be approximately a days drive out into the wilderness to a remote location where we intended to establish our base camp and where we plan to be based for the better part of two weeks.

This expedition to Mongolia has been more than a year in the planning now and as I have alluded to in several previous posts is an attempt to find and photograph a very rare and elusive wild cat. The idea for this expedition first came to me several years ago when I was conducting some preliminary research into possible locations to find and photograph Snow leopard. My research eventually led me to the conclusion that I really needed to invest at least six months of personal time into the Snow leopard project if I was going to give myself a chance to not only find, but to create really powerful and evocative images of this majestic and rarely scene predator. In the end, I decided to shelve the Snow leopard project as I simply did not have the free time to invest to ensure the best chance of success. I was also quite honestly somewhat concerned about the requirement to live at high altitude for extended periods as historically I have not done well above 14,000 feet. During my research however, I stumbled upon a small wild cat that lives in the high step regions of Mongolia of which I had never heard of. A cat for which I could find very little information about and even less in the way of photographs captured in the wild (most of the photographs online are taken in zoos). I decided right then and there that trying to find and photograph this cat in the wild was the perfect personal project for me. I then spent my free time over the coming months reading and researching everything I could get my hands on.

Known as the Pallas cat, this small cat lives in burrows or dens in a remote region of Mongolia (and other parts of Asia) where it hunts small rodents for food. Pallas cats are kept in captivity in several zoos around the world but very little is actually known about their life in the wild. Additionally, there are very few photographs of wild Pallas Cat and their numbers are known to be drastically reducing due to poaching and habitat encroachment by humans.

This expedition will see myself and friend spending our time in an extremely remote area of Mongolia where we expect to be fully cut off from civilisation.There is no infrastructure where we will be basing ourselves so have to resort to tents and camping. It is winter in Mongolia now and temperatures as low as -40ºC are more than possible (and expected).

Our aim is to try and locate a Pallas cat den and then spend our time waiting in portable hides. With luck, the ground will be covered with fresh snow and the Pallas cat will be waiting. The latest weather reports are that snow has begun to fall as of a few days ago. 

For this expedition I am taking the following camera equipment:

2 x Canon EOS 1DX MKII Camera bodies

2 x Canon EOS 1DX MKII Spare batteries

1 x Canon 600mm f4L IS MKIII

1 x Canon 70-200mm f2.8L IS MKIII

1 x Canon 24-70mm f4L IS

1 x Canon 1.4 TC MKIII

Because we are likely to be fully cut off for our time at basecamp this will likely be my only post and update for at least the next two weeks. Cross your fingers (all of them) for us! See you in the wilds of Mongolia.

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.