I specialize in guiding sailing and high-latitude private photography expeditions on vessels that explore remote areas, offering advice to passengers and documenting their voyage for books and photo albums.
This series was taken while guiding on two different high-latitude assignments, while working as a guide with Secret Atlas, who provide small-ship micro-cruise expeditions to the remote areas of the Arctic: one in Svalbard/Spitsbergen, the other in Greenland. Each of these excursions lasted about two weeks.(opens in new tab)
In my work with Secret Atlas, we sail on private voyages with just 12 passengers, which brings us closer to nature and wildlife, allowing for a more personal travel and photography experience.
I do like to plan a few shots in advance, or list types of wildlife species I’d like to photograph, but this is nature and you can take nothing for granted. To see a polar bear in the wild is a real privilege, and I am always on the lookout for an unusual shot.
I have used Nikon gear for more than 30 years, and currently have D850 and D810, and prior to that used the D800. I chose Nikon originally as someone told me the mount was stronger than Canon! That was back in the 1980s. Lens-wise, I have the Nikon 17-35mm f/2.8, 24-70mm f/2.8, 70-200mm f/2.8 and 200-500mm f/5.6, enabling me to capture everything from the epic Arctic wilderness to close ups of far-off wildlife. My favourite lens is the Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6, while it’s not an ‘exotic’ fast telephoto lens, it is very sharp.(opens in new tab)
The small-ship tours with Secret Atlas permits us to travel in a slow, sustainable way that allows us to get closer to the wildlife, without disturbing their natural habitat. The main challenges are the weather and finding the wildlife. But most important of all is looking after yourself and staying safe. Photography from a zodiac landing craft is safe, but I often travel alongside a guide with a gun!
About Secret Atlas
Secret Atlas (opens in new tab) is the home of small-ship voyages that explore the world’s most remote locations in the Arctic, including Svalbard, Greenland and Antarctica. Created by veteran explorers devoted to sustainability and slow travel, the bespoke small group adventures of Secret Atlas provide voyagers a truly experiential view of nature, while minimizing the impact on wildlife and the environment.
Secret Atlas (opens in new tab) specializes in highly customizable expedition micro-cruises, photo tours and luxury voyages aboard a fully staffed private vessel that can accommodate up to 12 guests. For those in search of the adventure of a lifetime, Secret Atlas delivers a transformational travel experience that revives the lost spirit of exploration.