I had the incredible opportunity to spend a week in Finse, Norway, a legendary location known for its role in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back as the filming location for Hoth. But more than that, Finse is renowned as one of the leading training and testing grounds for polar explorers preparing for expeditions to the poles, with a rich history that includes famous names like Sir Ernest Shackleton, Captain Scott, and Roald Amundsen.

On this particular assignment, I was hired by Shackleton, an esteemed outdoor clothing company named after Sir Ernest Shackleton himself. Shackleton specialises in providing high-quality attractive gear for colder climates, and they also organise challenge and experience trips. This particular trip was the Finse Polar Skills Challenge, where I would not only document the adventure but also capture product photos of their new clothing as part of a Challenger range product launch.

The week began with learning the basics of polar travel, including skiing on narrow specially designed skis while pulling a pulk, which is a sled carrying all our gear. We went out and practiced setting up tents in the snow, and learnt how to control the pulk whilst skiing downhill. Once we’d mastered in the necessary techniques, we embarked on a two-day expedition, skiing up onto Hardangerjøkulen and pitching our tents on the glacier, just in time to witness a breathtaking sunset. The following morning, we woke up to white-out conditions and braved a cold and windy day’s skiing. Despite the challenging weather, I was thrilled to capture some truly atmospheric and exciting content during the blizzard, which added a unique and dramatic element to the photos.

Throughout the trip, I worked quickly, responsively, and efficiently, embracing the expedition-style photography that I love. Shooting the journey of an expedition requires constant adaptability and resourcefulness in the face of unpredictable conditions, as well as near-bottomless energy reserves. It was an invigorating experience, and I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to capture the essence of the challenge and the rugged beauty of the Norwegian wilderness through my lens.

In addition to documenting the challenge, I also had the privilege of photographing Shackleton’s new Pulk Jacket and Salopettes as part of their product launch. The extreme conditions of Finse provided us the perfect backdrop to showcase the durability and performance of their gear in harsh environments, and I was able to capture compelling product photos that highlighted the brand’s commitment to quality and functionality.

Overall, my week in Finse was a remarkable adventure, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to have been part of such an exciting project. It was an honour to work with Shackleton, a brand with a rich history and a passion for outdoor exploration, and to capture the spirit of the expedition and the allure of polar travel through my photography.

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