New Adventures: Mongolia and Antarctica

In Antarctica, News & Stuff, Travel, Within The Frame Adventures by David14 Comments


Today Jeffrey Chapman and I are announcing two new photographic adventures for 2012. The first, in July, timed to coincide with the Naadam festival, is in Mongolia. The second is late November/early December, to Antarctica. More details are on the site HERE for Mongolia and HERE for Antarctica, and I am so excited about both.

Mongolia – July 6-16, 2012

The first, to Mongolia is a great itinerary. I was there in February a few years ago and since then, captivated by the landscape and the people (though not the food!), I’ve wanted to go back. In the past we’ve struggled to really communicate clearly on these, so this time I’m trying a different tack. This is not a workshop. This is a chance to go with two experienced photographers and travelers, to a place they have wanted to explore. We’ve done our homework, and we’ve picked the itinerary that we want to do. We’re inviting you to come with us, to explore with us, to have an adventure in places where there is sand, unusual food, potentially lumpy beds, and maybe even mosquitoes. There will be no 5-star hotels, though we’ve done our best to make sure we’re all safe, warm, healthy, and happy. There won’t even be lectures. What there will be is an organic travel experience to a new place with two photographers who want to discover a place, with cameras in hand, as it is. The group is small and we’ll be taking the first applicants, unless any of you seem completely insane, and then we’ll be skipping you and moving on.

My hope is to continue to travel with people who love new places and strange adventures, and to teach about this art we all love and spend so much of our time and energy on. To that end we’ll spend time each day in discussion about photographs themselves – not in image critiques, but discussions about the photographs themselves. And in between there will be times at meals, in vehicles, and while shooting, to ask questions, to explore this place and this art, together.

If that sounds like your kind of thing, and it isn’t for everyone, then we’d love you to join us. Who is this for? It’s for people who want to share an adventure and who love that adventure as much as the potential photographs. It’s for people who don’t mind a little sand in their teeth, don’t gag at the thought of different foods (I’m not talking about making you eat bugs), and can roll with changes in schedule. It’s for people who want to learn their craft in an organic, slow-burn kind of way. Who is not for? If you’ve done a bunch of photo-workshops, and want to be making photographs for 18 hours a day, we love you but you might be frustrated by our approach. We believe people are more creative when they slow down, watch the light, experience a place, and pursue better photographs not just more of them. Our approach is different.

Anyways, check out the itinerary, and if it appeals, drop us a line. But do it fast because these adventures usually sell out within the first two days, if not sooner.

Antarctica – November 29 – December 09, 2012

I went to Antarctica this December with Quark Expeditions and from the moment I entered Antarctic waters I was enchanted. I went expecting to shoot black and white photographs of a black and white world, and what I came back with was a body of work full of blues I didn’t know existed. Antarctica stunned me with its beauty and it’s not often that happens. So I came back and told Jeffrey we had to do this trip. We’ll be with Quark again, on a larger ship, but we’ve got our own Zodiac and lots of time to be together as a group and talk about photography, discuss images, and enjoy one of the most amazing places I’ve ever been. Quark is a top-notch operation and I was impressed from start to finish. The ship was great, the staff was amazing, and Antarctica was an adventure from beginning to end.

Yes, the Drake Passage was rough. People (not many of them, mind you) fell out of chairs. Lots of people staggered around the boat like they were drunk. Some of them might have been. 🙂 Many spent the crossing in their bunks waiting for the calm of the Antarctic waters. But I didn’t hear anyone say they had regrets. And I thought crossing the Drake was an appropriate price to pay for entry to a place so magical. We’ll spend time photographing from the ship, from the zodiacs, and from the shore. We’ll walk among penguins and seals and see icebergs in shades of blue you just didn’t think existed. And there will be plenty of time (we aren’t going anywhere else, you know) to learn from each other on the ship during the voyage. If you’ve ever wanted to see the frozen continent, or the 7th continent, this is an adventure you’ll never forget.

More details about the itinerary on the website. Feel free to ask Jeffrey questions. This one needs a quick sell-out in order to secure our small group on the boat, so if you want to join us, let us know fast. *This is not a traditional workshop. Please read the description of the Mongolia trip; it’ll help you understand what we’re doing.

For more information on Mongolia, check out the website HERE.
For more information on Antarctica, check out the website HERE.


  1. Sounds like two awesome trips and I’m sure you and the lucky attendees will have a great time. Sadly, I don’t have 5k sitting around and if I did my wife would divorce me if I dropped it on a “freakin photography trip”! Perhaps I’ll stick it on credit and you can just leave me in a tent in Mongolia? (I would say Antarctica, but my body fat would only sustain me so long – probably weeks tho lol :))

    Have fun!

  2. Author

    Duncan – Antarctica is full of penguins. High in fat, easy to catch. Let us know where you want the tent. 🙂

  3. Good shout, stick my name down mate!

    On a more serious and completely tangential point, I was out on the snowy “mountains” in the Peak District at the weekend. Took me about 7 hours to trek over 10 miles of frozen, snow filled peat bogs on no discernible path. Felt like curling up and just lying down in the snow at points (melodramatic, but true, weird what goes through your mind!).

    Then thought about Scott and Amundsen’s expeditions. 3500km (well, not quite for Scott’s team 🙁 ), 99 days, manhauling massive sledges of gear and supplies, crevasses, blizzards in gale force winds. And I’m up the top of a 600m hill moaning about a bit of snow and some camera gear an hour from civilisation. Yep, somehow I managed to return. Those guys were and are just awesome and would love to follow in their footsteps (only the two they took to get off the boat :)). Anyway…

    Dunc, the penguin eating antarctic hermit

  4. Both trips would be great. David, how many participants are you taking on the Antarctic trip?
    BTW, in the details above, you have the wrong date for the finish of the Antarctic trip.

  5. Author

    Thanks, Andre! I’ve just fixed the date. Not sure how that happened. We’re aiming for 8 participants on the Antarctic trip, which would make 10 of us total – just the right number of people for one Zodiac.

  6. When is the cut-off date for Mongolia? I have classes and visitors coming (happens a lot when you live in an interesting part of the world 🙂 ) and need to make sure that they will all be finished before I can commit.

  7. You are right about the Antarctic blues. About 2001 a friend of mine went down there for work. He was shooting film but also bought a cheap point & shoot for his stay (early days of digital). He was able to email me some pics, and even with that cheap piece of junk camera, the blues were amazing.

  8. Author

    Deborah – There really isn’t a cut-off, per se, it’s simply a first-come, first-served application. I suggest you email Jeffrey through the website and discuss this with him. He’s pretty gracious with people that really want to come but need a little time to tweak a schedule or something. Would be great to meet you in Mongolia! 🙂

  9. David – both trips sound fntastic. glad to know that you will be “out there” soon doing what you love with others. Best of luck

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