First trip to Antarctica

First trip to Antarctica

April 30, 2024

Meet George Benjamin, a wildlife photographer originally hailing from a small village in south west England. His mission is to tell stories of the natural world through his lens. Having worked with the likes of National Geographic, Discovery Channel, Conde Nast, Adobe and BBC Earth to name a few, he finally made one of his bucket list trips come true. These are is thoughts on experiencing Antarctica for the very first time. 

What sparked your passion for photography and inspired you to pursue it as a career? 

Growing up in rural south west England, my entire upbringing was immersed in nature; exploring  the woods, swimming in the rivers, climbing the hills. Photography came naturally to me, as I  wanted to capture those fleeting moments.  

I held onto that passion throughout university (even though I studied English Literature!), but my path took me into the creative industries, working in advertising. My job took me across the  world to New Zealand, where I lived and worked for two years. During that time, I met the most  inspirational conservationists who gave me the confidence to take the leap into self employment as a wildlife photographer. 9 years later, here we are! 


Tell us about your most recent trip to Antarctica 

There aren’t adequate words to describe the majesty and wonder of Antarctica. What probably  shocked me the most was the scale; huge glaciers, towering mountains and of course, the  incredible amount of marine life. It was a photographer’s dream. 

Myself and Lara spent every waking hour with our cameras in hand, and our NYA-EVO packs on  our backs, ready for any opportunity that we were afforded. 

From porpoising penguins through to fluking humpback whales, pods of orca on the hunt  through to leopard seals basking in the sunlight, it was beyond our wildest imagination. 


What are the 3 most important things to consider when planning a trip to Antarctica Gear, clothing, snacks. 

First, we were limited on baggage (amount and weight) travelling to Antarctica so our NYA-EVO  packs were key here. We were able to fit an incredible amount of camera bodies, lenses, and  laptops into our packs, as well as spare clothing, headphones, you name. Game changers. 

Second, our actual camera equipment. We ran with two bodies each, with a different lens on  each — one shorter, one longer — ready for any encounter. The Nikon Z9 is an insanely good  piece of kit and paired with the Z 70-200mm f/2.8, we were set. 

Then of course, clothing. Lots of layers and waterproofs. We got super lucky and for the majority,  it was sunny and surprisingly warm. The only super cold day was Christmas Day, which made it  feel a little more festive! 

And finally, snacks. Myself and Lara are both vegan, so we snuck in all our favourite sweets,  crisps, chocolates, and cereal bars that we knew wouldn’t be on board!

What would you do differently if you were to go back to Antarctica? 

Go for longer. 10 days wasn’t enough. That said, I’m not sure 100 days would be either! I’d also  love to explore the southern side of Antarctica, where there are different types of orca and huge  colonies of emperor penguins.  

Name one thing or feeling you did not expect to see or feel in Antarctica 

The constant sense of feeling overwhelmed. I’m not ashamed to say that I teared up daily, it’s just that much to comprehend.  

Aside from Antarctica what is the most awe-inspiring destination you have ever visited? 

Most definitely the Congo Basin in central Africa. I’ve never visited a place before or indeed,  since, that felt so alive. Huge flocks of African grey parrots, forest elephants drinking from the  rivers, western lowland gorillas swinging in the canopies, and sitatungas (semi-aquatic  antelopes) feeding on the reeds.  

What advice do you have for aspiring photographers? 

Don’t be afraid to attempt new things and moreover, fail. Better to have tried it, then never tried  at all. We only learn by doing and its within that process that you’ll find your voice 


Your favourite shot ever taken and why? 

This is a tough one, as all my favourite shots have a reason behind them beyond the art; a  moment shared with Lara, seeing a rare animal for the first time, or the accolades they’ve got  me. 

With all of that in mind, it’s probably an image I took 18 months ago in Ol Pejeta, of a white rhino  crossing the plains with the sun setting behind her. It was one of those “think differently”  moments where, rather than shoot with a long lens, I shot mega wide at 35mm. I’m so glad that I  did. 


If you could only shoot with one lens for the rest of your life which one would it be? 

This is easiest question so far! Most definitely the Nikon Z 70-200mm f/2.8. The speed is  insane, as well as the sharpness. It’s never let me down, ever. The ability to shoot in such low  light with incredible confidence is invaluable to me as a wildlife photographer.

How has NYA-EVO integrated with your travels and photography workflow? 

It’s no exaggeration to say that my NYA-EVO bag is a game changer. Historically travel has always  been such a headache, having to carry so much equipment in bags that just never… worked. 

My FJORD 60-C has flipped the above on its head. I’m able to fit in more equipment than ever,  I’m never questioned in airports, and it sits so comfortably on my shoulders and back. 

Moreover, in the field when I’m shooting, the customisable and easy-to-access storage area  allows me to change equipment/swap lenses quickly and crucially, keeps it safe, free from  damage, and dust. 


What is your plan for the future? 

My plan is always to keep pushing myself on a creative level and more importantly, continue to  tell nature’s story in the only way I know how: through my photography. It’s a tough industry to  work in but one which I’ll continually fight for. Wildlife is worth it. 


To see more of George's work please check him out on instagram.

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


You are visiting from . Would you like to update your location?

Go to EU site Stay at Global Site