Greenland with X-T2

Greenland has became a popular destination to visit. With its beautiful ancient granite mountains, amazing glaciers and icebergs and sense of remoteness it is a great country to visit and photograph. My second visit to Greenland was on an old beautiful two mast oak Danish built ship - Donna Wood. Sailing in the Arctic is something I wanted to try for a long time and when I had an opportunity to photograph Greenlandic unique lanscapes from a different angle, from the waters of the largest fjord in the world Scoresby Sund, I happily grabbed the chance to do so last August.

Throughout almost two weeks I used one X-T2 with the 50-140mm f2.8 lens (my main landscape lens) and a vertical grip. The second X-T2 body had the superb 16-55mm f2.8. After photographing extensively with a tripod and filters in Iceland, just before this trip, I decided to go free of those and only used a tripod when I played with long exposures and occasionally used a CPL when shooting icebergs. One amazing thing about Greenland is how much colour you get when the light is right. Given the right conditions all the kingdom of ice turns on fire and even in poor light icebergs come out in all shapes and shades of blue.

Here is the selection of my favourite shots from the sailing trip in Greenland that show once again how capable the Fujifilm X-T2 camera and lenses are. Handling two X-T2s with vertical grips in the confined space of a zodiac boat was easy. If I could change a few things I would have taken XF100-400mm f4.5-5.6 lens too, as some icebergs and wildlife in Greenland are at a distance. I had a 1.4x teleconverter with me, but it was not enough to bring some scenery closer. I would also like to have a descent drone with a good lens and sensor next time, as iceberg views from above are amazing - something you can see in this stunning clip made by Brynjar Ágústsson.  Post-editing was done in Iridient Developer and Lightroom with Nik's collection plugins. Click on any image to adjust it to your screen size.

shadow of our boat at the bottom of the iceberg during sunset

waterfall lit up by sunrise light

shadow of our boat at the bottom of the iceberg during sunset

arctic reflection

Greenland with Fuji X-T1

This year I could not travel far, so this is a retrospective blog - two years ago I took my then brand new X-T1 and X-E1 (as a backup) paired with 55-200, 14, 18-55 and 35mm lenses and went trekking in Greenland and Iceland for three weeks on tour organised by Icelandic Mountain Guides. At that point I had little experience in landscape photography and did not know Fuji X series cameras very well. But they were light, compact with great quality sensors and importantly all this gear could fit into one Lowepro 102 AW sling pack withND filters, SD cards and 12 extra batteries. Long distance hiking for days puts certain demands on weight and size and for that Fuji X cameras were ideal. I had X-T1 with vertical grip and 55-200 attached in the main compartment of the pack and X-E1 with 18-55 in the smaller top compartment. The sling pack was always slung on my front, over the rucksak shoulder straps (38l Osprey Kestrel) on my back with my day gear. The combo was very comfortable and well balanced, so I had no restrictions in movement and could get either of the cameras out quickly to take a shot.
Post-editing was done in Iridient Developer and Lightroom 6. Click on any image to adjust it to your screen size.

Karale fjord

Our first camp was at the Karale fjord, a few hours motoboat ride from Kulusuk. The day we arrived the weather was rather grey, but gradually changed to sunny with blue skies and stayed so for more than a week. The granite mountain peaks of East Greenland are about 1000-1500m high and though they look deceptively young they are actually very old having been protected from erosion by an ice cap that is retreating from the coast line now.

first camp, Karale fjord

Karale fjord

Karale fjord

Karale fjord

Karale fjord

Karale fjord

Knud Rasmussen glacier, the magnificent glacier flows into icy waters of Karale fjord, East Greenland. The glacier is named after a similarly magnificent man, Danish polar explorer Knud Rasmussen

Karale fjord

the turtle-like granite rock comes out of the glacier like a giant prehistoric animal awaken after an ice-age. Image taken at Karale fjord, East Greenland.

Karale fjord, view from the first camp

fjord patrol, arctic fox in summer coat, Karale fjord area, East Greenland

leaving Karale fjord

small icebergs on the way to Kuummiut, the intense blue once were flipped over recently

Our second camp was set in the fjord near the Kuummiut village about 50 miles down south. And the final third stop for a few days was at Tasiilaq -  the biggest town (1,800 inhabitants) of East Greenland and has some spectacular views of the fjord with icebergs near by.

Kuummiut village and the fjord

second camp, Kuummiut area

cotton grass (Eriophorum)

I see you -  arctic fox was resting in the shadow of a boulder when I found her/him

icebergs on the way to Tasiilaq

Tasiilaq and fjords from above

icebergs on the way to Tasiilaq

mountain lakes in Tasiilaq area

iceberg near Tasiilaq. the fishing boat gives you an idea of scale

granite mountains near Tasiilaq

sunset at Tasiilaq

The trip was fantastic and using X-series cameras was a joy. This year the new X-T2 is coming, so I will have even better cameras on my future trips paired with new fantastic weather proof and super sharp 50-140 and 16-55 lenses. Finally, I would also like to stress two points that rarely come up in Fuji promotions and advertising. First - that apart from being amazing in quality, well priced and drop dead gorgeously looking, and supplying endless fun whilst shooting - Fujifilm cameras, especially X-T1/2 and X-Pro1/2 are fantastic for learning photography. They certainly taught me a lot in a very short period time. In fact I learnt on the go whilst trekking. Having everything being done via dials combined with the fact that EVF gives you a live view of any changes is a brilliant interactive educational tool. The second point is that although it is important to showcase work of professional photographers who uses x-series for weddings, events, fashion etc, it is also important to show what one can do with these gems of cameras on travel. Combining travel with learning photography results in the never ending fun during and after the journey e.g. this blog entry.