Life as a Commercial Photographer based in Melbourne Australia…
Heli Hike to Franz Josef Glacier…
Prior to our setting foot in New Zealand we had already planned and booked a hike up on the glacier at Franz Josef; the company we had chosen is called Franz Josef Glacier Guides and we had originally settled on their 3 hour Glacier Heli Hike. However as the day dawned it soon became apparent that no morning flights would be making the trip up to the glacier due to the inclement weather; naturally we were very disappointed but still hopeful that we might yet make a trip later in the day. Unfortunately our guide explained that they were now fully booked for the afternoon flight, and so our faces grew longer still…then as good fortune would have it, she managed to secure us a place on the slightly cheaper but actually longer in duration ‘Ice Explorer’ trip. This meant that we would have up to 3 hours on the ice, but less time in the helicopter. It would literally just taxi us up to the glacier and take us back down again, whereas our original trip had more time flying above the scenery. In hindsight this turned out to be a major stroke of luck, since the views from the cramped helicopter were not guaranteed, particularly as I was stuck in the back and could not move my arms.
As for the actual trip and experience, I could certainly produce an overly verbose essay on the delights of being on the glacier, but thought it best to hopefully let the images (and there are a lot of them!!) convey the feeling. I must say that the company Franz Josef Glacier Guides were absolutely brilliant; our guide was very thorough and professional while also approachable, friendly and highly knowledgeable. We flew up in two groups of five, and while on the ice we certainly saw plenty of other groups, but at no time did it feel crowded; a few of the following images are stitched panoramas which hopefully give an overview of this exhilarating experience…
I know that there are a lot of images here, but the whole trip was so memorable I just found it impossible to cull… I would most certainly recommend this to anyone with even a passing interest, and would also highly recommend the company that we flew with; I incidentally have no affiliations with them whatsoever, but do appreciate a solid professional business when I encounter it. The 3 hours that we spent on the ice seemed like 5 minutes, and at no time did we feel cold. There is just so much to photograph, but I also made myself simply enjoy the moment, and it was certainly one of the highlights of this trip!
On a few of the frames here I have used the 16-35 f2.8 L II, and while it is a good lens, I have never felt that comfortable with my copy in terms of edge sharpness unless heavily stopped down. I think it may be time to exchange it for the new f4 version which is garnering excellent reviews…
14 thoughts on “Heli Hike to Franz Josef Glacier…”
Amazing!!! (I am so jealous!) 😉
Thank you Suze! It’s definitely worth making the trip…
This looks amazing, going on my list! Beautiful photos Michael!
Thanks Jo, definitely recommended!!
Wow! A feeling is that you are on another planet.
It really was superb Victor, I highly recommend it! Thanks for dropping by and commenting!
Superb photos Michael, thank you so much for your post. The colours are breathtaking up on the ice, aren’t they?
Thank you! Yes, it really is a stunning location for photography!!
What an incredible experience and your images are fantastic.
Thanks Edith, I have to say it was a stunning afternoon – highly recommended if you find yourself in this part of the world!!
Wow. Great work, as usual Michael. And holiday it seems. Best regards, Ernest
Thank you so much Ernest, I really appreciate it! I’m sorry I missed you before I left, I did drop by your office but unfortunately you were away for the day. I hope all is well with you, Best regards, Michael
Amazing photos! I’m doing the same tour next month. Your photos are some of the best I’ve come across.
Thank you Jennifer, I really appreciate it! You will absolutely love the tour, we simply could not stop taking photos..! Thanks for stopping by…