Visionary Wild, LLC • 2200 19th St. NW, Ste 806, Washington, DC 20009

E-mail:    •    Tel: 1-202-558-9596 (9am to 5pm, EST).

Justin Black – Managing Director: 1-202-302-9030 • Email:

Jennifer Woolley – Director of Operations • Email:

We look forward to hearing from you!


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Expedition January 16 - 30, 2019 | View other workshops

Antarctica with Daisy Gilardini and Justin Black

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A Fly-In – Fly-Out, Small-Group Antarctic Photography Expedition Aboard M/V Hans Hansson

Note: As this opportunity has developed on very short notice, and availability of berths is limited, this expedition may be booked directly through our office only. Online bookings are not enabled at this time. Please either call us at +1-202-558-9596 or email Director of Operations Jennifer Woolley at to book this trip or be added to the waiting list.

We have been presented with the opportunity to take over the charter of a vessel that is in very high demand: Hans Hansson, recently acquired by friends of ours who specialize in small-vessel Antarctic adventures. The prior charterer has had to cancel, which gives us a rare crack at this special vessel – unique in Antarctic waters – which is otherwise booked up entirely through 2020. In an era when Antarctic expedition vessels are getting larger and larger, Hans Hansson offers a wonderful way to go with a very small group, on a comfortable vessel that can get into locations that bigger ships can't reach.  We will spend almost two weeks on location at Antarctica, rather than wasting precious days "rockin' and rollin'" on the Drake Passage crossing. As masters of the ship, your leaders – award-winning polar photographer Daisy Gilardini and Justin Black of Visionary Wild – will  work with the captain to choose the best route to maximize the photographic opportunities along the way, responding to local conditions of weather and ice as necessary. Our small but capable expedition vessel will sleep eleven guests in addition to your two photo leaders and the ship's crew, in six cabins each with two bunks. Two Superior Cabins have en suite private bathrooms, and the other four Standard Cabins share two bathrooms/showers.


  • Jan 16: Arrive in Punta Arenas, Chile, for airport pickup and transfer to Hotel Cabo De Hornos, followed by a group dinner at one of our favorite restaurants.
  • Jan 17: Transfer to the airport for our quick and comfortable jet flight over Cape Horn and across the Drake Passage to King George Island in the South Shetland Islands, where we board Hans Hansson and begin our adventure.
  • Jan 17-29: Aboard Hans Hansson, photographing the wildlife, ice, and landscapes of the Antarctic Peninsula, south to Lemaire Channel and Vernadsky Research Base, using our vessel's size and maneuverability to access places that larger ships can't get to.
  • Jan 29: Disembark Hans Hansson for the flight back to Punta Arenas. Celebratory final group dinner at one of Punta Arena's best restaurants, and overnight at Hotel Cabo De Hornos.
  • Jan 30: Transfer to Punta Arenas airport to catch your departing flight.


Double-occupancy pricing will be $21,500 for a berth in one of the two Superior Cabins (twin bunks with private-bathroom), and $16,500 for a berth in one of the four Standard Cabins (twin bunks, sharing two showers and toilets located on the corridor very closeby). The rates for single-occupancy cabins will unfortunately have to be nearly twice the double-occupancy rate: $42,250 for a Superior Cabin and $32,250 for a Standard Cabin.

A 50% deposit is required upon registration, with the remaining 50% balance due by September 18, 2018.

Package Includes

  • Attentive and personalized photographic instruction throughout by Daisy Gilardini and Justin Black
  • Use of M/V Hans Hansson and its two Zodiacs, as well as the services of the experienced crew and expedition staff.
  • Specially arranged round-trip flights on DAP Antarctic Airways, aboard a four-engine BAE 146 jet, from Punta Arenas to King George Island (seats on these flights typically cost between $6,000 and $8,000 per person).
  • Two hotel nights in Punta Arenas (Jan 16 and 29)
  • All meals from dinner on Jan 16 to breakfast on Jan 30 (including wine/beer with dinners).
  • All necessary transfers from arrival to departure in Punta Arenas, Chile.

Modified Cancellation and Refund Terms

Please note that due to the significant commitments involved in chartering the vessel for this trip, the following cancellation and refund schedule will apply, based on date cancellation notification is received:

  • 121 or more days prior to expedition start date: Full refund (less any non-recoverable credit card processing fees)
  • 120 to 91 days prior to start date: 25% of package cost non-refundable
  • 90 to 61 days prior to start date: 50% of package cost non-refundable
  • 60 days or less before start date: No refund

If you have any questions at all, please let us know. We hope you will join us on this Antarctic adventure!

Daisy Gilardini

Daisy Gilardini is originally from Switzerland but now lives in British Columbia, Canada.  She started taking photography seriously during her first trip to India in 1989, and since then has visited more than 70 countries with camera in hand. After falling in love with Antarctica during her first trip there in 1997, she has spent most of her time photographing the Polar Regions. In over two decades of polar exploration she has joined over seventy expeditions to Antarctica and the Arctic, most of them on research vessels and icebreakers, one on a sailing boat, and some overland. In 2006, she joined a Russian expedition to the North Pole on skis.

Daisy’s images have been published internationally by leading magazines and organizations, such as National Geographic, Smithsonian, BBC Wildlife, Nature’s Best, Audubon, The Telegraph, Outdoor Photography, Greenpeace, World Wildlife Fund, among many others. Her work has received numerous awards at the most prestigious international photo contests such as the “BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year”, “Travel Photography of the Year”, “Nature’s Best” and many more. In April 2010 Daisy had the great honor to be part of the jury of the “BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year” considered as the “Oscars” of nature photography photo contests.

Her passion for the natural world has grown into a lifelong commitment to disseminate conservation messages. She is a fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP), a fellow of The Explorers Club, and she is part of the Swiss Nikon Ambassador’s team, the SanDisk Extreme Team and the Lowepro Storytellers Team.

For Daisy, photography means extreme adventure and environmental commitment.

Many times I tried to understand this irresistible attraction to the Polar Regions, which I would define almost as an addiction or obsession. These extreme adventures transport me out of my ordinary worldliness leading me in a voyage of self-discovery. The isolation from the modern civilization and all the distractions that come with it brings me back to appreciate and focus on the simple rhythm of Nature. The healing feelings of re-discovering the primordial connection with Nature and the interconnection among all species on earth inspires deep respect and awareness for the importance of these delicate ecosystems.

If human kind wants to survive and evolve with our planet we have to act responsibly, by acknowledging with humility that Nature is not dependent on us, but we are dependent on Nature.

As environmental photographers it is our duty to capture the beauty of places and species at risk, and raise awareness trough the universal power of the images we capture. While science provides the data necessary to explain issues and suggest solutions, photography symbolizes these issues. Science is the brain, while photography is the heart and we need to reach people’s heart and emotions in order to move them to action, for Nature and for us.

Justin Black

JUSTIN BLACK is a photographer, writer, editor, expedition leader, photo workshops instructor, a Fellow of the International League of Conservation Writers (ILCW), and a former executive director of the International League of Conservation Photographers (ILCP). Since 2011 with Visionary Wild and for ten years at Galen Rowell's Mountain Light Photography, he has created inspiring and effective educational photographic experiences for thousands of passionate photographers. He is widely recognized as one of the world's leading photo workshops organizers.

A professional photographer since 1995 when he signed his first picture agency contract, before founding Visionary Wild he served the ILCP as Executive Director, and for seven years was General Manager and Curator of Mountain Light Gallery.

Justin's photographs have been published by magazines such as National Geographic Adventure, Sierra, Sunset, American Photo, Outdoor Photographer, Rock & Ice, and Nature Conservancy among others. His work has also been published by major news outlets in print and online, and has been used in advertising for brands such as MasterCard, Patagonia, Nikon, and Fujifilm.

Among conservation NGOs that have used his photographs in their campaigns are World Wildlife Fund, Conservation International, The Sierra Club, National Parks Conservation Association, Panthera, Land Trust Alliance, Earth Justice, The Wilderness Society, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, ILCP, and the Wild Foundation.

In 2017, he entered the world of motion pictures as an Executive Producer on the award-winning documentary film, Headhunt Revisited: With Brush, Canvas, and Camera, produced and directed by Michele Westmorland. Justin was invited to serve as a judge for the 2015 and 2017 Nature's Best Photography Africa competitions. He has also been an editor and contributor to numerous award-winning photo book projects, including Galen Rowell: A Retrospective; Freshwater: The Essence of Life; The Wealth of Nature: Ecosystem Services, Biodiversity, and Human Well-Being; Our National Parks: America's Natural Heritage; as well as Flying South: A Pilot's Inner Journey by Barbara Rowell. His limited edition fine prints are available through his portfolio website at

An early career as a travel photographer and image licensing specialist led him to Mountain Light Photography in the San Francisco Bay Area, founded by Galen Rowell – a world-renowned National Geographic photographer, author, and mountaineer – and his wife and business partner, Barbara Cushman Rowell. Beginning in May of 1999, Justin managed marketing of the Rowell image collection, assisted Galen on assignments and in his workshop program, and taught seminars on nature photography. In April 2002, the Rowells invited Justin to relocate with them to California's scenic Owens Valley as Mountain Light's General Manager. Justin eagerly embraced his new responsibility, along with the sublime Eastern Sierra Nevada landscape as his new home.

Four months later, Galen and Barbara perished in the crash of a chartered plane, leaving behind a tremendous creative and visionary vacuum. Justin went to work, building on the impressive Rowell legacy to reinvigorate Mountain Light by establishing a seasonal series of guest photographer exhibitions, expanding the image collection, and relaunching the highly acclaimed photo workshop program through collaboration with Galen's leading professional peers, including Frans Lanting, Pat O'Hara, Jack Dykinga, John Shaw, David Muench, and Jeff Foott. In May 2008, Justin's successful efforts were recognized by both Sunset and American Photo magazines, as each magazine featured editorial recommendations of his workshop program at Mountain Light.

After ten years with Mountain Light, Justin was recruited to take over the position of Executive Director of ILCP, a non-profit association of the best photographers worldwide working in the field of environmental and cultural conservation. At ILCP, Justin oversaw an explosion of productivity in expeditions, publishing, multimedia production, and the achievement of successful conservation outcomes. He contributed photographic coverage to ILCP's Rapid Assessment Visual Expeditions (RAVE) program, including Flathead Valley (Canada, 2009), Yucatán (Mexico, 2009), and Chesapeake (USA, 2010), as well as a solo project for The Nature Conservancy, documenting the Dragon Run wetland on Virginia's Middle Peninsula. One of Justin's photographs from the Flathead River project appeared as a section opener in the Vancouver Sun newspaper – the first time the threatened watershed received significant coverage in that nationally important media outlet.  The photograph was later selected by the United States Senate for display in the U.S. Capitol Building, as Canada and the USA reached an agreement to protect the Flathead.

Justin left his position at ILCP in late 2010 to establish Visionary Wild, building on his successful leadership of the Mountain Light workshop program and applying expertise gained at ILCP to provide superlative workshops and expeditions for passionate photographers seeking to advance to the next level of creativity, quality, purpose, and meaning in their work. His own work continues to evolve in new directions, driven by the ongoing search for extraordinary qualities in our world's dynamic landscapes.

Justin lives in Washington, DC, with his brilliant wife, Lena, and their children Philippe and Alexandra.

Justin Black's limited editions portfolio

Justin's Outdoor Photographer Profile

Bringing focus and meaning to your photography

The Top 40 Nature Photos Project

Justin's Conservation Photography Projects


Justin’s Camera Bag

After using an array of 4x5, medium format, and 35mm film cameras in the first two decades of his career, Justin fully embraced digital cameras in 2010. His current gear includes Nikon DSLRs and Fujifilm mirrorless systems.


Fujifilm Medium Format Mirrorless:

GFX 50S camera

23mm f/4 GF Fujinon

32-64 f/4 GF Fujinon

120mm f/4 GF Fujinon


Nikon DSLR:

Nikon D810 cameras (x2)

24mm f/3.5 PC-E tilt-shift Nikkor

45mm f/2.8 PC-E tilt-shift Nikkor

85mm f/2.8 PC-E tilt-shift Nikkor

24mm f/1.4 Sigma Art

35mm f/1.4 Sigma Art

50mm f/1.4 Sigma Art

85mm f/1.8 G AF-S ED Nikkor

200mm f/4 AF-D Micro-Nikkor

500mm f/4 AF-S Nikkor

18-35mm f/3.5-4.5 G AF-S ED Nikkor

24-70mm f/2.8 G AF-S ED Nikkor

70-200mm f/4.0 G AF-S ED VR Nikkor

200-400mm f/4.0 G AF-S ED VR Nikkor

Nikon TC-14EII teleconverter

Nikon TC-20EIII teleconverter

Nikon SB-900 flash

Nikon SB-700 flash

Assorted Nikon TTL flash cables


Fujifilm APS-C Mirrorless:

X-Pro2 Cameras (x2)

14mm f/2.8 XF Fujinon

23mm f/2 XF Fujinon

35mm f/1.4 XF Fujinon

50mm f/2 XF Fujinon

18-55mm f/2.8-4 XF Fujinon

55-200mm f/3.5-4.8 XF Fujinon


Filters and Light Modifiers

Nikon Circular Polarizer II

Singh-Ray Vari-ND

Tiffen WW IRND neutral density filters

Photoflex reflectors and diffusers

Lumiquest soft boxes

Rogue Flashbender

Rosco gels



Really Right Stuff TVC-24L with leveling base and Really Right Stuff BH-55 ballhead or Arca-Swiss D4 geared head

Gitzo 1028 with RRS BH-25 ballhead


Photo Packs

MindShift Backlight 36L

MindShift Backlight 26L

Mindshift FirstLight 30L

MindShift Rotation 180 Pro

Mindshift Rotation 180 Horizon

Mindshift Rotation 180 Panorama

ThinkTank Airport Addicted V2.0

ThinkTank Urban Disguise 50 V2.0



  • 12-night private charter of M/V Hans Hansson, one of very few capable charter vessels in Antarctic waters suitable for a group this size.
  • Small group size, limited to no more than 11 guests
  • Includes round-trip flights across the Drake Passage aboard a BAE 146 Jet. Flight duration is about two hours, which frees up an extra four days on location in Antarctica, significantly reduces the potential for seasickness, and increases general safety.
  • Frequent landings to make the most of photographic opportunities along the coast and on the islands
  • Excursions by Zodiac among the icebergs
  • Generous and personalized photographic instruction throughout by Daisy Gilardini and Justin Black

Accommodations & Travel

  • Punta Arenas, Chile, nights of January 16 and 29: Hotel Cabo De Hornos, an excellent and modern hotel located in central Punta Arenas, conveniently close to the best restaurants and the waterfront.
  • Antarctica: 12 nights from January 17 t0 29, private charter vessel M/V Hans Hansson.
airplane iconcar iconboat iconfoot iconweather icon
Fly to Punta Arenas, Chile (PUQ) for our initial group meeting. Flights across the Drake Passage from Punta Arenas to King George Island are included. All ground transfers are included. At King George Island, we will embark on M/V Hans Hansson for a 12-night private charter to explore the Antarctic Peninsula. Walks at landing sites will be easy to moderate. On the Antarctic Peninsula in January, expect temperatures around freezing (0ºC to +2ºC) most of the time, with a mix of wind, sun, overcast, and possible rain showers.