Penguins & Polo necks: Photographer, John Bozinov, talks polar pursuits

27 Jan 2017

Talented photographer, Arctic adventurer and keen environmentalist, John Bozinov has recently returned to his native New Zealand after spending two months exploring and photographing the beautiful landscapes and nature of Antarctica.

Like us, John loves all-natural fibres, and he continually relies upon wool knitwear to keep warm when the weather does its worst. We were thrilled to discover that before John headed off to the Arctic wilderness, he packed our wonderfully warming, pure lambswool Ribbed Polo Neck Jumper.

Given John works in some of the coldest parts of the world, we thought he’d know one or two things about how to stay warm when the temperature drops. We caught up with John and asked him about his recent Arctic experiences, and how he manages to keep warm in extreme-cold conditions.

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Your photographs are wonderful! What made you choose to be a photographer?

For me, photography started out as just a hobby, I never set out to do it professionally. My passion for photography grew out of my love of taking photos. I’m happily obsessed with traveling and capturing the special moments around me, so once I realised I could make a career from what I truly love doing, the decision to take photography to the next level was a no-brainer.

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So, your recent Antarctic expedition; looks like you had quite an adventure! What did you set out to achieve before you headed to the Antarctic? Were you successful?

Well, with any expedition, especially those undertaken in the polar regions, you’re entirely at the mercy of the elements, which means you have to work within the constraints of whatever unpredictable weather you confront. So, it’s important to manage your expectations!

Lots of people don’t get the opportunity to explore remote, mysterious places like the Antarctic. The main objective in my mind, before any expedition, is to use my photography as a vehicle, something which can bring these places closer to these people.

And, of course, we’re all aware of global warming, and how it is dramatically affecting our planet. I am keen to connect people, visually, with the landscapes and animals bearing the brunt of environmental change.

Your animal shots from your expedition are just fantastic; we love them! Which animal do you enjoy photographing the most, and why?

Definitely penguins. There’s just something so peculiar about watching “little men in tuxedos” waddling about upon the ice! I’m fixated on them!

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What was the highlight of your trip? What made you say “WOW”?!

I’m often asked this question! It’s so difficult to identify just one moment because every day in the Antarctic peninsula offers something truly spectacular!

However, I do remember one particular morning when we were out photographing humpback whales, feeding in a well-sheltered cove called Wilhelmina Bay. When, what seemed like out of nowhere, our zodiac was surrounded by a pod of five or six humpbacks, all swimming within only a couple of metres from us! It was an incredible few minutes, an experience I’ll never forget!

We imagine you’re pretty adept when it comes to handling the extreme cold. What are your must-pack, cold-conquering essentials?

When working in an Arctic environment, it is entirely essential to wear multiple layers, both to protect against the cold and to be prepared for unpredictable snow and winds to hit at any time.

Base layers are incredibly important. These fundamentals trap heat and prevent it from leaving your body too quickly. My must-pack items always include good-quality, wool thermals, Merino wool socks, and thick, wool jumpers.

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Do you have any other “insider” tips for beating the chill? What works best for you?

I always follow the Three-Layer Rule:

Layer 1: A thermal layer. I lay warm foundations with woolly thermals, preferably made from Merino wool. These work hard when it comes to wicking moisture (caused by sweating) away from your skin.

Layer 2: An insulating layer. Down works well as an insulator, but I personally prefer to go for a heavy-gauge wool jumper. Sometimes I’ll wear two if it’s particularly chilly out!

Layer 3: A protective layer. Something that will protect against strong winds and heavy snow. A good-quality parka keeps the cold at bay.

Thanks, John. We hope your pure wool Fishermans Crew Neck Jumper comes in handy on your next expedition. We can’t wait to find out about that adventure!

All images © John Bozinov (Instagram)

category: Wool Stories

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