Better Moments x Phase One

Capturing the Island Made of Ice

With the world slowly transitioning out of the pandemic, traveling and exploring this globe comes onto people’s agendas again. When you get those opportunities to see what incredible places this world has to offer, you probably want to be able to capture that once in a lifetime moment. Travel photography requires preparation. You do not want to show up and find out with frustration that you don’t have skills and equipment to turn your vision into reality. There’s many ways to get prepared whether it is online courses or articles. What better way though to get your skills in shape than to visit a workshop, where you can gather some practical experience and exchange yourself with experts. When you combine that with an amazing trip to a great landscape in Europe, such as Greenland, then you get the best out of both worlds: Travel + Workshop. If you would like to know what to expect from a workshop to these places and also find out some tips on the best photo shoot locations in Greenland, then read through this blog story.

David has recently joined the Better Moments photography workshop in Greenland and gave us a testimonial about the workshop experience.

Workshop Testimonial

What I find really insightful on workshops is to observe the other photographers in the group – both leaders and participants – to see how they work and what they choose to see and photograph. It’s always fascinating to see the diversity of images that a group can produce from the same location, and Greenland was no exception.

This was my first trip with Tom D. Jones as the resident expert, so it was great to benefit from his experience of many trips to Greenland and elsewhere in the Arctic, and also to compare his working methods with those of other professional landscape photographers with whom I have travelled. Tom has a very informal style and provides as much or as little guidance in the field as one seeks, and thoughtful image critique afterwards.

To put it in three words:

AWE-INSPIRING (the power of nature on display)

AWESOME (the photographic potential on offer)

UNFORGETTABLE (I will be back, I’m sure!)

What was your favorite Greenland photography experience?

It’s hard to say really, there were so many great experiences. From the hillside overlooking the ice fjord, there is an infinite range of compositions in which to include the massive icebergs and sea ice. Shooting the icebergs from a boat presents its own challenges and is in some ways a little bit like wildlife or sports photography – the relationships between the icebergs in the frame change so quickly as the boat moves that you have to anticipate how the elements of a composition will come together and predict the best moment to shoot. Then there was our afternoon of aerial photography – shooting the icebergs from an open helicopter – when we enjoyed wonderful lighting conditions.

But I think my favorite experience would have to be an early morning shoot, just after a dusting of snow had fallen, bringing wonderful definition to the rock formations on the hillside in front of the ice fjord. With the addition of lovely soft lighting, it was quite special and I’m particularly pleased with the panoramic shot that I made that morning.


Why Greenland?

I described Ilulissat and the ice fjord in a text message to my wife as ’photo heaven’ – it’s the combination of beautiful soft light for much of the day (most days!) and the great diversity of image subject matter (it’s not too much of an exaggeration to say that in this part of Greenland there is an image to be made wherever one looks) that makes this place special. And if I were to return again sometime, the landscape would surely be quite different, as the massive icebergs that dominate the horizon break up and are replaced by new and unique structures.  

EXPLORER Workshops

Better Moments and Phase One have joined forces to provide the opportunity to work with top-of-the-line equipment, while photographing breathtaking scenery around the globe. The workshops are lead by world-known photographers and our own experienced instructors who will help you to refine your personal style and sharpen your technical skills.

Every participant is offered a free loan of an XT Camera including lenses during the workshop, a one-to-one Master Class with a Phase One expert and a Capture One software training before and after the workshop. On top of that you will receive a follow-up training and support from Phase One after completion of the workshop.

"There are several great locations for high-end Landscape photography around Ilulissat. One, please - a secret spot – is walking upon the hillside facing the Ice Fjord and Disko Island. Then hike up to the hilltop, and make sure to be there for the sunsets with your tripod – in a few words – absolutely amazing”.

Christian Nørgaard

Better Moments - Workshop Organizer

If you are interested in learning more about top photography spots in Greenland, then take a look at this travel guide from Better Moments.


Why shooting medium format is the best class photography for my trips?

My preferred way of working for landscape photography is both precise and highly-considered, taking time to set up the composition, optimise camera settings and extract the maximum image quality form the scene in front of me. I also like to make large prints from my images, to appreciate every detail that I have captured. Until now, I’ve followed this approach using high-end full frame cameras but, as I prepare to retire from my day-job and focus more of my time and energy on my photography, now is the time to make the transition to a medium format technical camera set-up, to build on this approach.    

My desk research suggested that the combination of the Phase One IQ4 digital back on a technical camera and Rodenstock lenses mounted with the x-shutter would deliver both formidable image quality and a streamlined workflow in the field. I also confirmed what I had hoped to confirm, namely that my current landscape photography workflow on my full frame cameras would translate well to the Phase One XT camera system, which I had borrowed for the trip. Indeed, it did and I found it very easy to get to grips with the XT and operating the camera from the IQ4 digital back. Having only received the XT at Copenhagen airport and read the manual on the flight to Greenland, I found myself able to produce very satisfying images from the very first outing. The possibility to try the camera firsthand was one of the biggest attractions to participate in this workshop, as I was particularly keen to try out the system in challenging landscape conditions, before committing to buying into the system. 

Take a look at the XT camera yourself

Book some time with our Phase One experts to get an exclusive demo of the XT camera. Just fill in the form and we will get in touch with you.