Iceland Dispatch #1 – Still Travelling

Iceland is a long way from my home town of Melbourne Australia. Its no less than three international planes, several multi-hour transfers totalling more than thirty hours (since I walked out my front door) of non stop travel across the pond. ‘Non stop’ being the operative phrase. The first leg of the journey from Melbourne to Doha with Qatar airways was about as enjoyable and relaxing as airline travel can be – the large sky beds in business class are comfortable and the multi-course dinner and glass or three of red wine go a long way to making the whole experience ‘almost’ enjoyable . Likewise the flight from Doha to Heathrow London was equally comfortable. The changeover in Doha was a little over an hour and no more or less painful than any international travel change – Doha is a new passport tick for me (if you consider an hour in the airport a visit). I have to hand it to Qatar airways; their business class food and service was outstanding – the best I have experienced. Their business airport lounge in Doha is equally impressive – well above the Qantas / Australian standard.

As I write this I am in Heathrow enjoying *cough* a seven and a half hour layover before my flight to Keflavik airport in Iceland. All I can say is thank god for priority pass airport lounges, wireless internet and more alcohol.

Fire in the Sky over Doha

Iceland Dispatch #0 – On My Way

I am just about to load up the car and head to the airport for my three week  photographic trip to Iceland to be followed by a few days rest and relaxation in London and the UK before returning home. My flight leaves Melbourne International airport this evening so I am hopeful I can get some sleep on the plane on the way over and avoid the worst of jet lag – its a long haul from Australia to Iceland via Doha and London. I plan to make regular posts to my blog during and throughout the trip; but a lot will depend on my photographic schedule as well as internet availability as many of the locations I will be travelling to in Iceland are quite remote; especially in the later part of my trip when I will be camping.

I have been looking forward to this trip for a long time now and its great to finally be getting underway. I am keen to experience the perpetual daylight of the midnight sun as well as the vast photographic opportunities Iceland’s landscape has to offer. See you in Iceland!

Sherpa Please

Portrait of a Skipper Acquired for Art Collection

I was very pleased to learn last night that the Council has purchased my photograph ‘Portrait of a Skipper‘ for inclusion in their permanent art collection. ‘Portrait of a Skipper’ was a portrait photograph of Damien Skipper – one of the resident artists at Montsalvat in Eltham and was part of the 2010 Nillumbik Prize. It was a photograph I very much enjoyed working on and I am thrilled to see it included in the Councils permanent art collection.

Travel Tip – Wash Your Trekking Boots

Upsetting customs officials when you first enter a foreign country is never a good idea. Yet, this is something I almost achieved last year in the South Island of New Zealand when I got pinged for packing my favourite trekking boots in a rather dirty state. Lesson learned – Never pack a pair of dirty or muddy trekking boots in your baggage without giving them a good scrub and clean before you leave home. Customs in many countries have strict quarantine procedures to protect their individual and often unique  eco systems and can either confiscate or fine you accordingly for either not declaring muddy boots and/or not cleaning them before entering a foreign country. Always better to be safe and clean them before leaving home.

Clean Me!

Iceland – Whats in Josh’s Bags?

For the travelling Landscape, Nature and Wilderness photographer there are some significant international travel hurdles to overcome. Not the least of which is the ‘light weight’ carry on restrictions enforced by pretty much all the airlines nowadays (I don’t know anyone who is willing to check their expensive camera gear in general baggage). To this end I have spent the better part of this evening balancing out my photographic equipment between my two camera bags to meet the individual ‘carry-on’ bag weight limits, but yet maintain a reasonable sense of order for working in the field. A task that is not as easy as it might first sound, but I pretty much have it sorted now. I posted a full equipment list in an earlier post HERE. My Canon 1DSMK3 is in my Lowe Pro Nature Trekker bag with the 24mm F1.4L MKII lens attached. This bag also holds the 17mm TSE F4 lens, the 50mm F1.2L lens, a 1.4 MKII Tele-extender, a macro extension tube, the Canon S90 Point and Shoot, all of my graduated filters, adapters and polarisers, spare battery, lens hoods, rocket blower and other accessories such as memory cards and bubble level. It tips the scales right on the 8 kilogram limit. The second smaller Lowe Pro bag has my 70-200 F2.8L IS and 300mm F2.8L IS lens along with my RRS Ball-head. The Canon 85mm F1.2L MKII lens is staying at home. My tripod is going inside my main luggage suitcase. Worst case, if the airlines loose my luggage I can always buy another tripod in Iceland and use my RRS ball-head which I carried on board.

Whats in Josh's Bag?