Tours/Workshops

2018

ICELAND REVEALED

August 24-September, 2018 FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT JOSEPH VAN OS PHOTO SAFARIS

Iceland is considered the landscape photographer's paradise with countless waterfalls, rhyolite mountains, volcanic lava flows, blue crater lakes, thermal features and still active glacier-clad volcanoes. We visit many of Iceland's less traveled places by specially equipped 4X4 Mercedes Sprinter and SUV running the interior routes, highlands and other routes accessible only by these special 4X4 vehicles. Some of the highlights are the Fjallabak Nature Reserve including Landmanalaugar, Veidivötn region, Sprengisandur Highland Route, and majestic waterfalls such as Aldeyjafoss and Detifoss to name a few. I will be co-leading this fantastic journey with local professional photographer Daniel Bergmann. He has published many books on Iceland and his latest is Iceland Landscapes (2011), which is considered one of the finest collections of landscape images from Iceland.

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2019 TOURS

YELLOWSTONE IN WINTER-MULTIPLE TOURS

January 17-24 and January 27-February 4, 2019 FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT JOSEPH VAN OS PHOTO SAFARIS

There is no better time to photograph Yellowstone than in the winter. The summer crowds are absent and the landscape is transformed into a wonderland. With frigid winter temperatures and 10,000 geothermal features the land is in a constant state of flux fire and ice. Steam from the numerous geysers crystalize onto solid surfaces and coat the landscape with magical diamond dust.

Our trip includes several days of private snowcoaches visiting many of Yellowstone's iconic geyser basins and we photograph at all the major areas including Upper, Middle and Lower Geyser Basins, Norris and the Mud Volcano areas as time permits. Wildlife are highly visible during this time of year and we generally see bison, elk, coyote, red fox, otters, trumpeter swans, bobcats and many of the other animals that make their home in Yellowstone in winter.

This year I have the pleasure of leading this trip with renowned landscape photographer Jack Dykinga. Jack needs little introductions and he will be a great addition to the trip.

With over 35 years of photographing Yellowstone National Park I hope I can show you some of my favorite places that have taken me a lifetime to learn!

For more information contact Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris

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HORSES AND ICONS OF THE WEST

February 10-February 16, 2019 FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT JOSEPH VAN OS PHOTO SAFARIS

Unparalleled opportunities to photograph horses thundering through snowy meadows, against dark pine-covered slopes and jagged mountains are just a fraction of the exceptional photographic potential in our winter photo shoot. Though the horses are our main focus, we also have outstanding chances to photograph all aspects of cowboy life in winter—model-released cowboys working herds of horses in snowy landscapes; during hard-charging and snow-flying action; depicting the adversity of ranch life in winter; and straightforward cowboy portrait sessions! The horses and their cowboys keep us busy all day long—it's the equivalent of two shoots in one! Each day there is an extraordinary range of subjects to please beginners and amateurs, as well as stock and fine arts photographers.

Our setting for this incredible shoot is a magnificent 650,000-acre ranch in Shell, Wyoming. The photogenic vistas of this enormous ranch include the craggy Bighorn Mountains, snowy meadows, slickrock cliffs, polychrome-painted hills, aspen groves and a rushing river. The ranch is home to 1,200 head of cattle, a rugged crew of photogenic cowboys, cowgirls and wranglers and some of the finest ranch horses west of the Mississippi.

Our luxurious ranch accommodations, located at the foot of the Bighorn Mountains, consist of a spacious main lodge surrounded by guest cabins . It's a wonderfully appointed guest ranch for this remote Wyoming location and keeps us warm and cozy between shoots. After an exciting day in the field you can relax and unwind in the hot tub adjacent to the main lodge while flying snow may swirl around your head! The lower level of the lodge houses a library with an inviting fireplace, a large TV and billiards room. The main floor hosts the dinning room and wood burning fireplace—plus spectacular views of the mountains. The top floor is home to the cocktail loft, where guests gather to share stories, review daily digital images, and discuss plans for the next day.

Join us on this exclusive winter shoot to capture the power and majesty of horses in snowy landscapes, striking images of Wild West buckaroos, and to chronicle the uniquely American flavor of the "Cowboy Way."

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CROATIA

April 27-May 9., 2019 and January 27-February 4, 2019 FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT JOSEPH VAN OS PHOTO SAFARIS

Beautiful Croatia is rapidly becoming recognized as a premier photography tour destination, offering an outstanding combination of timeless unspoiled nature coupled with centuries-old medieval villages and a lively contemporary cultural and gastronomic scene. With its photogenically diverse mainland, dreamy offshore Adriatic archipelago, outstanding national parks and picturesque historic terra cotta-roofed villages, it is no wonder that this tiny country is drawing more and more photographers.

Roughly the size of Ireland or West Virginia, the terrain of Croatia is wonderfully varied with fertile plains, extensive lakes, inspiring waterfalls, densely wooded mountains and pristine beaches. In fact, the Croatian coastline is one of the most indented in the world with more than 1200 islands and islets studding its Adriatic shore. The country extends from the furthest eastern edges of the Alps in its northwest to the banks of the Danube in the east while tracing an arc around much of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

As today’s fastest growing Mediterranean travel destination, Croatia’s gaining popularity is due, in part, to its rich canvas of filming possibilities—probably none more prominent than its featured role in HBO’s Game of Thrones series where the medieval city walls and fort in Dubrovnik became King’s Landing. Other Dubrovnik filming locations include its arboretum used as the Red Keep’s gardens, the Fortress of Klis used for exterior shots of the slave city of Meereen and the Church and Monastery of St. Dominic in Trogir, which appears as the walled city of Qarth.

COMBINE THIS TRIPThis trip can be combined with our Slovenia photo tour May 9–20, 2019.

On this productive Croatia photo tour we have wonderful opportunities to shoot the best of Dubrovnik as we explore its narrow streets, image-beckoning architecture, Old Town street performers, and impressive medieval walls. The island of Hvar—the “longest and sunniest island in Croatia”—provides a pleasant Mediterranean climate in which to stroll along fishing village streets packed with photogenic Renaissance architecture and bustling markets and waterfront. Another outstanding feature of this photography trip is the superlative panoramic waterfalls of Krka and Plitvice Lakes National Parks.

Though tiny Croatia—and its many former Roman, Venetian and Austro-Hungarian incarnations—has been part of a long and turbulent history, it can be said that “everything old is new again.” The Republic of Croatia obtained its recent independence from the former Yugoslavia in 1991 following several years of intense conflict. Croatia became a member of NATO in April 2009, and joined the European Union in July 2013. Now its prospects seem very bright and travel to “the Mediterranean as it once was” has never been easier.

SLOVENIA

MAY 9-MAY 20, 2019 FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT JOSEPH VAN OS PHOTO SAFARIS

It’s been said that exploring the storybook landscapes of timeless Slovenia is like discovering “Europe in miniature.” Slightly smaller than New Jersey and often referred to as "the sunny side of the Alps," the number one reason to have a landscape photography adventure in tiny Slovenia is that it is ridiculously pretty!

Surrounded by Austria, Hungary, Italy and Croatia plus a short stretch of Adriatic coastline, it is the place in Central Europe where the Alps meet the Mediterranean. Slovenia lies at the nexus of four major European biomes—Alpine, Mediterranean, Pannonian lowlands and Dinarides mountains. The country has one of the highest levels of biodiversity in the European Union and currently 13 percent of its territory is protected through nature parks, reserves and natural monuments, while almost 60 percent is covered by forests.

As we photograph our way around Slovenia, we encounter a patchwork of spectacular lakes, majestic mountains, striking waterfalls, alpine meadows, vineyards, bucolic farms and architecturally picturesque villages. To top it off, there seems to be a photogenic fairytale castle perched on every available promontory.

Our group photographs Lake Bled and its iconic church on Bled Island. Lake Bled is one of the most popular places to visit in Slovenia and is arguably one of the most beautiful spots in the whole country. If ever there was a picture postcard setting, this is it!

With a photogenic backdrop of the Julian Alps we capture the tranquil beauty of Lake Bohinj—Slovenia's largest lake—with plenty of time to soak in the dramatic alpine surroundings. We shoot creative long exposures to photographically accentuate the water of fast-flowing rivers and waterfalls at Vintgar Gorge, and travel Slovenia's pastoral scenic byways to shoot traditional hayracks—often artistically designed, handcrafted and regarded as a distinctive form of Slovene architecture.

We linger in the Logarska Valley to photograph the wealth of wildflowers that bloom in May, drive the scenic mountain road overlooking the highest peaks of Kamnik-Savinja Alps, explore the Adriatic coast, and shoot the Secovlje saltpan landscape where we witness production of salt harvested in the time-honored way. Finally we visit the historic capital Ljubljana. From Roman ruins to baroque palaces, the pedestrian-only historic city center provides imagery of its past as well as today's café culture, vibrant riverfront and bustling markets.

Join us on this compelling 11-day Slovenia photo tour to capture an impressive overview of the very best of this small country’s rich landscapes, architecture and culture

SPITZBERGEN-JEWEL OF THE ARCTIC

June 14-24, 2019 FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT JOSPEH VAN OS PHOTO SAFARIS

No other expedition voyage in the world is dedicated to spending as much time traveling amidst the pristine arctic ice floes in search of polar bears and other wildlife photography opportunities as our Spitsbergen—Jewel of the Arctic photo cruise! This is a unique and absolutely incredible chance to visit the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard and its largest island, Spitsbergen—the most spectacularly photogenic arctic destination on Earth—on a cruise that is totally dedicated to the interests of wildlife and nature photographers. FOR MORE INFORMATION AND BOOKING VISIT http://photosafaris.com/Photo-Tours/2019-Tours/Spitsbergen-Photo-Tour-Freya OR CALL Joesph Van Os Photo Safaris at 206.258.7834.

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EPIC SOUTH GEORGIA

October 8-November 2, 2019 FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT JOSEPH VAN OS PHOTO SAFARIS

It is the place on Earth where superlatives are born. The pinnacle, the apex and the zenith of nature’s creation—there are no adequate words to describe the awesome beauty which is South Georgia. This phenomenal sub-Antarctic island—102 miles long and 24 miles wide, a mere speck in the vast Southern Ocean—is crowned by a wreath of flowing glaciers covering half of its expanse. The craggy scenery of South Georgia is no less spectacular than if the Alps had been plunged recklessly into the tempestuous South Atlantic. Despite its extreme isolation, South Georgia ranks among the most vital breeding oases for one of the world’s greatest wildlife concentrations.

"South Georgia is a must-see destination. JVO Photo Safaris was a great way to see and photograph it."

- M. Goyen

If you've dreamed of visiting South Georgia, or longed to return to its rugged shores, our 2019 Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris Epic South Georgia cruise offers an incredible opportunity to experience this fabulous island of penguins and ice for 10 full days of unparalleled photography. Our dedicated, exclusively chartered, photo cruise visits the island's most prolific wildlife habitats and scenic landscapes. We make shore landings primarily on the island's northeast coast that teems with wildlife and photo opportunities.

Millions of penguins make the island their home and, in some places, complete hillsides are covered with them. There are more photogenic king penguins on South Georgia than on any other island on Earth and we visit several of their enormous colonies throughout our voyage.

A quarter of a million albatrosses return here each year, including the spectacular wandering albatross. With its 10-foot wingspan, the wandering albatross is a truly immense bird, and South Georgia is home to half the world's population. Under the cover of darkness to avoid predators, an estimated 10 million other seabirds—shearwaters, petrels and prions—return each night to the nest. Most of the small offshore islands are honeycombed with their underground burrows. Now, after an innovative rat eradication program, the South Georgia seabird colony is expected to expand by 100 million birds over the next several years!

Rounding out our Southern Ocean odyssey is a visit to 4 of the legendary Falkland Islands. Sea Lion, Saunders, West Point and Carcass Islands feature photographer-pleasing gentoo and rockhopper penguin colonies and, during our voyage, black-browed albatross colonies are courting at the start of their breeding season. Oystercatchers and steamer ducks parade along the beach, while penguins ride the surf along with black-and-white Commerson's dolphins.

Compelling Reasons To Travel With Us In 2019

The Last Of Its Kind—Our Final Epic South Georgia Voyage

Our 2019 Epic South Georgia voyage will be the last time we offer this incredible exclusively chartered journey! Small ships traveling in the Southern Ocean are quickly being phased out and are being replaced at an alarming rate with much larger vessels carrying hundreds of passengers each. The new ships, their itineraries and proposed shore operations restrictions will not be conducive for great photography, but rather they will cater to the whims of the massive general cruise market. In the coming 3 to 4 years, most ships suitable for in-depth photo tours will be a thing of the past.

Incredibly, nature in all its exuberance will also prohibit visiting many of South Georgia's wildlife-rich locations due to the burgeoning population of tens of thousands of aggressive Antarctic fur seals. In October, during our visit, very few fur seals have come ashore. By November, when they start arriving in massive numbers, the people on shore risk serious fur seal confrontations. The liability risk to tour operators and the Government of South Georgia from these increasing human/seal confrontations will prohibit landings at many of the most beautiful landing sites.

Unparalleled Experience

Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris has 30 years of experience offering photography tours to the great wildlife destinations in the Southern Ocean—far more than any other photography tour company that now operates trips to the region. Our trip leaders have worked together for years. Some have led extensive camping expeditions and others have been research scientists in the region. Our combined experience leading trips to South Georgia and Antarctica covers hundreds of voyages. Experience matters when exploring the vast Southern Ocean!

Time, Time And More Time

Our Epic South Georgia trip offers more time at South Georgia than virtually any other voyage! As with our near-legendary Ultimate Antarctica photo cruises, our Epic South Georgia 2019 photography odyssey is an exclusive charter— we direct all aspects of the cruise so photography and wildlife observation are second to no other activity aboard ship. Once at South Georgia, travel time from location to location is very short, so we waste little time in transit. We usually reposition at night. We get you exactly where you need to be for the best photo opportunities—each and every day of your trip.

Our trip offers 10 full days of breathtaking photography at South Georgia—with a luxurious amount of time to spend ashore. We also enjoy 3 days in the Falkland Islands—a destination that is amazing in its own right. During our cruise, participants' photography and wildlife interests shape our plans. On many days we stop at only one landing site, and our photography experience at these locations allows for virtually comprehensive coverage of the seasonal wildlife and rugged snowy landscapes. On these full days with only one landing, logistics will not require all participants to leave the shore, and optional bag lunches extend your shore time (weather permitting).

Small Ship, Fewer Passengers, Great Leaders

Now is the time to visit South Georgia with a comparatively small group aboard a comfortable small research-expedition ship that offers an excellent “platform” for photography. Our ship, the Ushuaia, carries only 76 passengers—small enough that you will get to know most of them. She has lots of outside deck space for bird and landscape photography, a friendly crew, and a group of great seasoned tour leaders traveling on our last epic cruise to the island where Shackleton ended his own epic voyage.

We carry a fleet of Jacques Cousteau-designed Zodiac landing craft, allowing us to set foot on very isolated shores. Perfectly suited to expedition cruising, these nimble craft enable passengers to travel in small groups and facilitate visits to some of the most spectacular wildlife concentrations in the world.

Prime Time For Photography

We are at South Georgia when occasional snowfall on the beaches is likely—the sight of tens of thousands of king penguins in the snow with serrate mountain and towering glacier backgrounds is breathtaking. Southern elephant seals are pupping and the gigantic bull beachmaster seals are locked in titanic combat on the beaches—a spectacular event most late season visitors usually miss! In October, aggressive bull Antarctic fur seals are still mostly at sea, which allows us access (usually impossible later) to nesting areas of gray-headed albatrosses and light-mantled sooty albatrosses. Also in October, Prion Island is open to visitation (it closes in November) and we are there at the prime time to photograph wandering albatrosses.

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