Coloratti Josh Holko on Photographing Icebergs and More
by Brenda K. Hipsher – December 30th, 2012
Coloratti Josh Holko is our newest member of the Coloratti program from Melbourne, Australia. Josh is an accomplished nature photographer and workshop leader. He received word this month that one of his photographs of Antarctica has won the “Spirit of Adventure” category in Outdoor Photographer of the Year 2012 competition. Already an award winning photographer Josh’s blog says, “I feel I have been very fortunate this year as I was also a finalist and highly commended with 3rd place in the Travel Photographer of the Year ‘Single Shot Water Category’ and was a finalist in the ‘Fine Art Photographer of the Year’ competition in Paris a few months ago.”
We caught up with Josh a few weeks ago to talk about his photography and yes, I admit it, to enjoy his lovely Aussie accent! You have to hear about his thoughts on “luxury shooting” in his workshops. Enjoy the audio clip from our conversation below:
Josh fell in love with shooting icebergs on a trip to Iceland. “That was a real problem for me,” said Josh, “since we have a real lack of icebergs!” Living in a predominantly desert climate in Australia requires him to travel to far flung locations to pursue his passion. It’s easy to experience his fascination with these giant floating masses in his photographs of them.
He leads workshops to to polar and sub-polar regions, Iceland, the Arctic, Antarctica, New Zealand. “I just found there was a quality to the light,” Josh comments. He started putting together trips after returning from some of these regions and finding that other photographers wanted to go to these places to photograph. His workshops are focused on shooting rather than lecture based sessions. His philosophy is to keep shooting while the light is right.
Josh began in nature and landscape photography because of his father who was pursuing an interest in fine art photography. He and his dad would go around the country side together taking fine art photos of what he called ” rusty bits”… old farm equipment and the like. “That’s where I first developed my passion for photography,” he said. “But it took me a while to find my feet and know what it is I wanted to shoot.” He did rock climbing photography and portraiture, particularly of children, and realized that what he wanted was to be out in nature making photographs. Josh also does some wildlife photography. “It’s just a huge amount of fun,” he says. “If I can show the critter in the environment that, for me, is a really successful photograph… something that shows the context of where the animal is [in the landscape.]
I asked Josh who the photographers are to whom he looks for inspiration. “I very much admire the work of Art Wolfe,” he said. “He has an extremely broad skill set. He has the ability, to not only to shoot a beautiful landscape, but go into a town or a remote village and come away with amazing people photographs… Andy Biggs who runs African Photo Safaries, my friend Daniel Bergman in Iceland, guys who quietly sort of go about producing beautiful work in the landscapes in which they shoot … I also get a real kick from people who come on trips…some of the participants just producing absolutely stunning work… that is a lot of motivation as well as inspiration… people who are passionate.”
Josh Holko uses X-Rite color management solutions to keep his color managed workflow under control. I asked him his view on the importance of camera profiling as part of a color managed workflow for nature photography. “I like to try to get the image right in camera,” he said. “For me I want to record the scene as accurately as I possibly can. Even though I’m more interested in pleasing color than accurate color … I do want to know what my base starting point is particularly when I bring it into Lightroom or Photoshop for the first time. It is really critical to know that I have an accurate rendering of the scene as a starting point of the scene… Color management really begins in the field for me.” He uses the accurate color capture in camera as his starting point for his editing and finishing.
Josh goes on to talk about the importance of a calibrated and profiled monitor to keep the color management “chain” intact all the way to the print. “It all really begins with monitor calibration once you get the image into the computer, ” he said. “I need to know that the color I’m looking at is the correct color. I do a lot of printing. For me I don’t really feel like I’m finished with the file until I have a print… I need to … know that when I’m making a print that when it comes out of the printer it matches. Usually when people are having color management issues its because they’re not working with a color profiled monitor.”
Learn more about the beautiful photography of Coloratti Joshua Holko at www.JoshuaHolko.com. There you’ll find links to galleries of his work, information on workshops, and a link to his blog. And learn more about the color management solutions that allow Josh to produce the beautiful prints that complete his vision at www.XritePhoto.com. No matter what kind of color perfectionist you are, X-Rite has a solution for your digital photography workflow.
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Photographs in this post are © Joshua Holko and may not be reproduced without permission.