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Meet Virgil Reglioni – Expert Photographer & Expedition Leader

Meet Virgil Reglioni – Expert Photographer & Expedition Leader

An Interview with Virgil Reglioni

During our photo tour in Svalbard, we had the pleasure of interviewing Virgil Reglioni, our talented photo guide leading an incredible team of photography enthusiasts on their Arctic Photo Expedition.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself? 

My name is Virgil Reglioni, and I am the photographer on board, leading this incredible team of photography enthusiasts on our Arctic Photo Expedition. Our journey through the region of Svalbard has been nothing short of amazing. We have explored breathtaking locations, seeking out pack ice and capturing wildlife in its icy habitat, all while maintaining a deep respect for the environment.

The weather has been perfect, the people have been wonderful, and our photography opportunities have been exceptional. I am enthusiastic about repeating this experience as many times as possible, as I want to share the wonders of this extraordinary universe with as many people as I can.

Who is the target audience for our photo expeditions? Do you need to be a professional, or can hobbyists participate as well?

Our photo expeditions are open to both professionals and hobbyists alike. You don’t need to be a professional photographer to join us. Every day presents new opportunities, and everyone has their own unique perspective. Photography is like art, drawing, or cooking—it’s a personal expression. Personally, I am drawn to capturing polar landscapes and northern lights during winter. However, when I’m here in the Arctic, focusing on polar landscapes during the summer in places like Svalbard, it becomes a challenge for me to incorporate the incredible wildlife we encounter. While I am passionate about photographing wildlife, especially polar bears and walruses, it is a challenge that everyone can enjoy. We all gain knowledge and learn from one another, even as professionals. Each person has a different way of seeing, editing, and developing images, as well as composing subjects within the frame. It’s a remarkable experience to share this journey with fellow photography enthusiasts who share the same passion.

Virgil Reglioni photo guide in the field helping guests
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What equipment do you recommend bringing on the trip?

The choice of equipment depends on your personal preferences. If you are interested in wildlife photography, a long lens is highly recommended to capture close-up shots of polar bears and other animals. However, my personal preference is to use a 28-200mm lens, which allows me to include more context in my images. I’m not particularly fond of close-up animal shots, so I opt for a wider perspective to showcase the environment and tell a story within the frame. Whether we are photographing a polar bear or a small zodiac, I aim to capture the beauty of our surroundings and avoid simply isolating the subject without any context.

I would also suggest bringing a wide-angle lens, as we often find ourselves in close proximity to various types of ice formations. This lens enables us to explore new perspectives and capture the subject in a different light. Working with different types of ice, whether it’s fresh or sea ice, is truly fascinating. Everywhere you look, there are textures and shapes waiting to be discovered. Having a range of lenses at your disposal provides the opportunity for diverse styles of photography. It’s always beneficial to have options.

polar bear in Svalbard

How do you enjoy the small ship experience, and how does it enhance the photography journey?

In addition to my role as a photographer, I also work as an expedition guide in the polar regions. The experience between large ships and small ships is completely different. Being part of a small team is incredibly appealing. It allows us to spend one-on-one time with our guests, which is far more engaging. With a smaller group, we have the chance to hear captivating stories from the guides and photographers on board, as well as share our own experiences. It’s a contrast to the crowded environment of a large cruise ship, where it may be challenging to establish a personal connection or feel comfortable asking questions. At the end of the day, whether we are guides or tourists, we all have one thing in common; we want to immerse ourselves in the stunning beauty of this place. Choosing a small ship for our expedition greatly enhances this experience.

Virgil Reglioni with guest Katie in Svalbard

Guest Stories

People are at the heart of everything we do here at Secret Atlas, and our guests' experience is top of our list.

We've put together a video for our guests to share their experiences with you, or you can read guests' stories below.