Spots Available For Antarctica Expedition 2013

This post is syndicated from Joshua Holko's blog. You can find the post here.

Daniel Bergmann and I have had a couple of places become available on the Antarctica Photographic Expedition we are leading in November this year. There is one triple share male space remaining, one twin-share and one-twin private place before the trip is sold out.

This has been a trip more than 8 months in the planning and has been designed and structured to provide the very best possible photographic opportunities. It also includes some truly unique features and opportunities that we are really excited about. The expedition is for a strictly limited number of 50 participants plus leaders and expedition guide and will offer an extended period in Antarctica (15 Day / 14 night Expedition). Whilst most trips to Antarctica take 100+ tourists we are capping the trip at a maximum of 50 dedicated photographers in order to ensure the best possible experience and photographic opportunities. We will be using an ice hardened expedition ship with a highly experienced crew in order to ensure we can get as close as possible to big ice and place you in the best locations for making photographs. Our expedition ship the ‘Polar Pioneer’ is equipped with sufficient zodiacs and crew for all photographers to be shooting simultaneously with plenty of room to spare for camera equipment.The expedition departs on the 9th of November 2013 and returns on the 23rd of November 2013 and includes very special access into areas normally restricted to scientific research, as well as taking in amazing locations such as the breathtaking Lemaire Channel, the Gerlache Strait and the surreal geothermal Deception Island, to name but a few. There is a fly return from the Falkland Islands; which avoids the worst of the Drake Passage and allows us more time in Antarctica as well as the opportunity to visit and photograph in the the wildlife rich Falkland Islands. There is also an option to stay on in the Falklands for each person for as long as they wish. Flights run once a week out of the Falklands with LAN Chile.


  • Strictly Limited to a maximum of 50 participants (much smaller than most other trips to Antarctica, more personal space and the ability for everyone to go ashore and work from zodiacs simultaneously)
  • Ice Hardened Expedition Class Ship
  • 15 Day Trip (Most trips are only 10 days), which means more time for photography
  • Access to areas of Antarctica dedicated to scientific research
  • The expedition is dedicated to photography first and foremost; which means we will be spending the maximum amount of time possible shooting from ship, shore and zodiac.
  • Added experience of Wildlife in the Falkland Islands and the ability to stay on after the trip in the Falklands.

Weather dependant there will be the added option to spend a night ashore camping in Antarctica. Should the weather favour us we will select a suitable location at the end of a days photography and head ashore via zodiac where we will make camp. All overnight camping equipment will be provided (including sleeping bags) and all you need to do is to make the decision to either spend the night ashore or on ship. Zodiacs will be kept ready throughout the night in case there is any need to return to ship. Of course if you choose to spend the night camping there will be non-stop opportunities for photography throughout the night. This is a fabulous opportunity to not only tick one of the seven continents but also to spend a night ashore.

In addition high end medium format camera manufacturer Phase One has joined this expedition. Kevin Raber, ex Vice President of Phase One PODAS workshops and now part owner of Luminous Landscape will be joining us for the duration of the expedition and will bringing a number of complete Phase One camera systems for everyone on the expedition to freely try and use throughout the trip. This is a truly extraordinary opportunity for all participants to experience the very best medium format digital system on the market today in what is in all likelyhood the most remote and amazing landscape on the planet. Not only will we be travelling to world class locations such as the geothermal Deception Island, the breathtaking Lemaire channel and the Gerlache Strait; but we will also be making photographs with some of the highest quality camera equipment available today.

To get an idea of the sort of photographs you will be able to take on this expedition please visit the Antarctica portfolio on my website at You can download a detailed flyer and itinerary HERE .

If you are interested in joining us on what is going to be a unique and wondrous expedition to Antarctica then please drop me an email to secure one of these last remaining places. These last places are secured on a first come, first served basis ad once they are spoken for and booked thats it.

Q & A with Photographer Mark Olwick

We thought it was admirable that Mark shoots primarily in film. We were excited to ask him a few questions and get a feel for his passion. We think you'll really enjoy hearing what he as to say and the photos he has chosen to share. Enjoy!

What type of photography do you prefer and why?

The goal of my photography is to capture the dream or emotions surrounding faraway places, rather than the literal documentation of them. A dream is an elusive thing to capture though, and it’s taken me a long time to come up with a look that reflects that.  After much experimentation, shooting film is the way I achieve the look that I envision.

To the “why” portion of the question, there are two answers:

I hate taking a photo that I’ve already seen a million times before.  Anyone can travel to an exotic country and photograph a wrinkled old person in a doorway.  If I ever catch myself doing that, I immediately stop and try to figure out how I could capture the feeling or emotion surrounding the situation.

My dream was always to be a photographer for National Geographic.  Nat Geo photographer Sam Abell's mother taught English at my high school, so it seemed like it was possible (teenager logic, there).  As I got older though, I realized what a "job" that would be.  Deadlines, demanding editors, project schedules...yuck! To be clear, I'd still love to see my photos in National Geographic, but would never want to shoot the shots that others want me to, and on their timeline.  That revelation was really what got me into fine art photography. It gives me that freedom.

What tip(s) would you give someone just starting out in photography?

Photograph your passion, and have fun. That’s all that matters.  Don’t get hung up on chasing the latest and greatest camera or pixel-peeping on review sites. Get out from behind the computer and go make photos. Play. Fail. Play some more.

Where is your favorite place to travel and to photograph?

The next one!  I have a huge fondness for both Asia and Africa.  I love to learn about other cultures and try to get away from the main tourist sites and try to understand the environment that I’m in. Photographing something helps me figure that out.

Who is a photographer you have looked to for inspiration?

Too many to list, but some people whose photography I admire and study are Keith Carter, Rocky Schenck, Edward Steichen, Alfred Steiglitz and more. I also look to painters and other artists for inspiration.  Vermeer’s use of light still amazes me.

What made you decide to get into photography?

I've always loved photography and that passion has continued throughout my life. I was always the kid with the camera, starting with a Kodak Brownie when I was probably 8 or 9.  I just love capturing memories and the entire creative process.

Anything else?

People know me as a film photographer, and that’s primarily what I shoot simply because it lets me achieve the vision I have in my head. I shoot with everything from a Holga to Hasselblad. It’s always fun to see the reactions of people when I’m in Africa photographing elephants with a Holga, for example (see “Three Elephants, Botswana”).  My guide in Africa said “You should have been here last week – we had a serious photographer with us.”!

You might think I'm religiously passionate about film but I'm honestly not.  I'm a strong believer in visualizing photographs before you shoot, so I use the tool that will get me closest to that.  I primarily shoot film for that reason (plus I absolutely hate sitting in front of a computer for hours doing Photoshop).  Digital is better at certain things though, especially high-ISO.  Since everyone's vision is (or should be) personal, each person should use the tool that suits them best.

Speaking of the right gear - I love Gura Gear bags because they’re light, tough, and made by photographers.  I travel very light, which is a necessity when flying on small charter flights in Africa. Keep making great bags, guys!

Mark Olwick


Here's some of Mark's shots. If you’d like to see more of his photography, please visit

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Monarch Bataflae - Kenya to Iceland

Back from Kenya

Andy Biggs is back from Kenya and that means The Monarch Bataflae has successfully completed its maiden voyage! The bag has already logged a little over 20,000 miles (33,000 km) and that's just the beginning! Andy also signed the bag before we got it back (See below). Each person who takes the bag will sign their name and the place(s) they took it. 

Andy Biggs' signature in The Monarch Bataflae

Here's a sample of some of the photos Andy shot while out on safari.  


Where to now?

We're pleased to announce that Joshua Holko will be taking the bag to its next destinations. Joshua and the bag will be journeying from Iceland to Svalbard and then to Greenland. It will take three flights and over 24 hours of travel to reach Iceland from Joshua's home in Australia. Over the next two months the bag will travel across the Icelandic landscape during his midnight sun summer highlands workshop. He will carry it from the city of Reykjavik to the spectacular Jokulsarlon lagoon, onto the Snæfellsnes Peninsula and into the stunning multi-coloured geothermal highlands of Landmannalaugar. After its sojourn through Iceland the bag will travel with Joshua to Longyearbyen in the Svalbard Archipelago (via Oslo) where he will take it aboard the expedition ship M.S Ontario to cruise the Arctic waters around Svalbard in search of Polar Bears and dramatic Arctic landscapes.  It will then board the ice hardened expedition ship Polar Pioneer and cruise the Arctic waters to Greenland to photograph giant icebergs, polar bears, reindeer and carving glaciers. At the northerly most point The  Monarch Bataflae will be only 600 miles from the North Pole. 

Of course we will keep you updated on the bag's wherabouts and share photos of the adventure. You can also follow Joshua Holko's personal feeds: Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Blog

Don't forget, once the bag has made it's way around with some of your favorite pros, it's your turn. Apply to take The Monarch Bataflae here