Sounds crazy, but I often find myself photographing icy and snowy winter-like scenes in summer. How is this possible? By venturing to the polar regions with Lindblad Expeditions and the National Geographic fleet.
Each year I return to the icy latitudes of the far north and south. It’s an obsession. The explorers called it Polar Fever. I even dream of ice.
During our Northern Hemisphere summer, I travel north to the high arctic of Alaska, Canada, Greenland, and Norway in search of polar bears and other arctic wildlife. In winter, I head south to the White Continent of Antarctica in search of penguins and towering icebergs.
For one of my adventures this year I was the National Geographic photographer for a voyage on board the National Geographic Endurance to Antarctica that included visiting the remote archipelago and rarely visited South Shetlands. Late summer found me again on board Endurance, this time navigating the ice-choke Northwest Passage from Nome, Alaska, across Arctic Canada, to western Greenland.
For both of these epic voyages I packed my OM SYSTEM arsenal of gear, which included three camera bodies (OM-D E-M1 Mark III, E-M1X, and OM-1) and an assortment of lenses (14mm F1.8 Fisheye, 8-25 F4, 12-100 F4, 40-150 F2.8, 150-400mm F4.5).
It's more than a marketing slogan that the OM SYSTEM is the ultimate expedition camera. The smaller format, weather sealed cameras and lenses, and amazing in-camera technology has changed the way I work.
From snowy Antarctic icescapes with penguins down south – to icebergs, polar bears, and the Aurora Borealis up north – I put the OM SYSTEM gear to the test in some of the harshest conditions imaginable.
What follows is a selection of images utilizing a variety of camera and lens combinations, literally from the ends of the earth.
Colorado-based photographer Ralph Lee Hopkins travels the world with Lindblad Expeditions, National Geographic, and Natural Habitat Adventures. Ralph is founder and director of the Expedition Photography program for the National Geographic fleet. For more than 30 years he has traveled from the Arctic to the Antarctica and points in between.