So You Thought Film Was Dead?

Arctic explorer Martin Hartley to capture moments in history with LEICA MP

(C) Martin Hartley –

1 March 2010: Arctic explorer and photographer, Martin Hartley, left the UK last week equipped with a specially-tested LEICA MP camera with LEICA ELMARIT-M 24mm f/2.8 ASPH. lens as part of his expedition equipment – vital for capturing the historic photos during his latest journey to the North Pole for the Catlin Arctic Survey. Martin is one of three explorers on the 2010 Catlin Arctic Survey, which is focused on capturing scientific data on how CO2 affects marine life in the Arctic.

One of the world’s leading expedition photographers, Martin Hartley has documented 19 unique polar assignments and is one of the only professional photographers to have crossed the Arctic Ocean on foot and with dogs: Adventure Ecology Top of the World Trans-Arctic Expedition 2006, and Catlin Arctic Survey 2009 – an international collaboration between polar explorers and some of the world’s foremost scientific bodies to help determine how long the Arctic Ocean sea ice cover will remain a permanent feature of our planet.

Martin Hartley commented, “Despite 19 polar photographic assignments over the last 12 years, there are still ‘impossible’ images to capture.  At the start of every expedition on the Arctic Ocean in late February/March, it is difficult to survive let alone operate a camera due to the severe conditions.  Below minus 40 degrees Celsius, electronic circuits slow down and become unreliable. The mechanical LEICA MP will give me the best chance of capturing those elusive, extremely cold photographs this time, which may be our last opportunity to do so.”

The expedition will take three months from start to finish. The progress of the expedition, which commenced on 25 February 2010 starting from Canada, will be documented at and on a special micro-site at Updates will also be communicated regularly via Twitter @ArcticSurvey.

During his trip, Martin will regularly send back film for developing, and images from the expedition will be posted regularly on his web site.

About Martin Hartley

Martin specialises in documenting the most inaccessible places on earth. He first gained public recognition at the age of 17 as runner-up in the Young Wildlife Photographer of The Year 1987 and has worked as a professional photographer ever since, winning numerous other awards including both portrait and adventure categories in the Travel Photographer of the Year.  His sustained commitment to capture the beauty of unadulterated landscapes and remote communities has taken him to some of the most isolated and challenging locations in the world. His in-depth technical knowledge, creative vision and ability to produce results in the most difficult of conditions makes him a highly sought after expedition and adventure photographer.  Martin has been nominated one of Time Magazine’s Heroes of the Environment for his work documenting the state of the North Polar sea ice cover with the Catlin Arctic Survey. His first book, Face to Face: Polar Portraits, in collaboration with the Scott Polar Research Institute, has just been published to accompany a touring exhibition. More at

About the LEICA MP

The LEICA MP is a hand-crafted, fully mechanical range/viewfinder camera. Highly reliable and durable, the LEICA MP relies solely on the skill of the photographer, and can be operated without batteries. The robust body can withstand the harshest conditions, and all controls are made from metal. Further information and technical data for the LEICA MP can be found at:

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