Martin Hartley

Veteran polar explorer Martin Hartley has extensive experience working in the Polar Regions, covering over 2,000 miles of the Arctic Ocean in his quest to better understand the dangers facing our planet's most fragile environments. Also an accomplished expedition and adventure photographer, Martin's work has been published internationally.

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About Martin Hartley, photographer and polar explorer

Martin Hartley is an expedition and adventure photographer who has worked extensively in the Polar Regions. He works on and documents scientific expeditions as well as some of the world's most inaccessible places. He has over a decade of travel experience on journeys to the North and South Poles, and is one of the only photographers in the world to have crossed the frozen Arctic Ocean on foot and with dogs. In 2009, he was nominated by Time Magazine as one of their Heroes of the Environment for his work with the Catlin Arctic Survey in documenting sea ice cover and ocean acidification.

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Over the last 16 years, much of Martin’s time has been taken up with documenting his favourite place on the planet (and possibly the most hostile and difficult place on earth to practice photography): the Arctic Ocean. During this time he has covered over 2,000 miles skiing on separate expeditions, living for 400 days on the sea ice, including a mammoth 99-day crossing of the ocean from Russia to Canada across the top of the planet. Martin will be working closely with NASA and the European Space Agency on his next expedition, set to occur during the late winter and spring of 2020. His goal will be to locate and document the last of the oldest remaining sea ice in the Arctic Ocean, before it is lost forever to global warming.

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Martin’s work has been published internationally by National Geographic, The Times, The Guardian, The Independent, The Telegraph, The New York Times, Hotshoe, the British Journal of Photography, Practical Photography, Outside Magazine, and The British Library. He is also Director of Photography for Sidetracked Magazine. His first book was Face to Face: Polar Portraits, published by the Scott Polar Research Institute. He has exhibited at venues including the Royal Geographical Society in London, the Scott Polar Research Institute in Cambridge, and Iniziative Culturali in Trieste, Italy.

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In 2017, Martin joined a North Pole expedition to collect snow depth measurements for the European Space Agency’s CryoSat programme, which is being conducted in concert with NASA’s Operation IceBridge mission. Martin's next expedition is set for 2020, when he will collate research data and photograph the impact of climate change on multi-year ice, an element of the frozen north that is key to our planet’s survival. The Last Ice Sentinel Project, taking place in February & March 2020, will see Martin and his team depart from the most northerly point of Canada and ski 300 miles across an ice bridge to the most northerly point of land on earth. Once there, they will photograph, document, analyse and map the last of the multi-year ice. Multi-year ice forms huge ice cathedrals (known as sentinels) growing up to 20m tall, which are key to our planet’s protection from solar radiation.

Guests on Martin's Svalbard Polar Explorer trip, departing in May 2020, will be able to learn first-hand from Martin regarding The Last Ice Sentinel Project. Throughout the expedition Martin will be on hand to host a number of seminars on his past works, expeditions, and the effects of climate change that he has seen over a period of 25+ years working within the Polar Regions. Martin‘s passion for using his hard-won expedition and photographic expertise to benefit the future of our planet has also taken him beyond the Polar Regions to desert, jungle, mountain and oceanic environments. There are few explorers or photographers with more established credentials.

“I have experienced the polar world in all its ferocity, when it is a challenge just to stay alive, let alone pull out a camera and take a photograph. Martin Hartley’s ability to take beautiful and powerful photographs, in the most difficult places to survive on our planet, is inspirational.”
– Sir Ranulph Fiennes

To find out more about travelling with Martin, click the button below to get in touch.