9th August – John Illingworth – “A Scandinavian AdVANture”

On Monday August 9th. SYPC were pleased to host John Illingworth (LRPS) with his talk “A Scandinavian AdVANture”. With a title clearly a play on words we were intrigued as to how the talk would evolve and we were not disappointed. John is an accomplished professional photographer with a passion and interest in landscape, seascape and woodland. John retired around 20 years ago and since then has been indulging himself in his passion of photography.
Ever since John’s retirement, and before that, he had dreamt of one day driving and photographing the furthest point North on the European mainland and it was this dream that inspired him to plan his trip to Knivskjelodden, Lying about 3km west of Nordkapp.

Not only did John want to visit Nordkapp but also to include Sweden, Denmark Finland and the rest of Norway as he had always enjoyed the Scandinavian landscape. This interest started after business short trips and family holidays to Scandinavia. As John was approaching his late 60’s he realised that if he was ever to achieve his dream then now was the time to “do it”. In 2018 he started to plan his dream 4 month trip to explore Scandinavia. John had number of objectives but his main driver was to Photograph the Autumn colours of the Artic.


To John’s credit he also wanted to raise some monies in memory of his mother who had sadly suffered with Alzheimer’s disease for over 10 years. Another piece of research and he found that on the Russian Finland border there was an organisation that specialised in photographing Brown Bears, an opportunity not to be missed.


John’s trip was planned to begin in July 2019 but first he needed a vehicle and somewhere to live. He chose to purchase a panel van and have it professionally converted it into a Camper Van. The Camper Van would be more economical than relying on more formal accommodation and at the same time offer the freedom to explore and even wild camp. Once the van was finished John had a successful “shake down” trip to Scotland to try out the viability of both driving and living in the Camper Van.
John planned his initial route and in order to visit all his locations planned to drive over 7,000 miles.
• In fact, John actually drove 14,222 miles
• With over 503 hours of driving
• £1, 195 was raised for the Alzheimer’s Society
• And he visited Holland, Germany, Denmark Sweden Finland and Norway.
John had spent months planning his “TRIP OF A LIFETIME” and commended us to consider taking on such a project. John stressed that you can wait your entire lifetime “wishing” for such a trip but if the will is there and you have the finances you can plan your project don’t wait …do it.


John is now planning a return to Scandinavia but this time his intention is to photograph the Spring of 2022. We wish John every success and look forward to seeing a further presentation of his Scandinavian Spring trip.
Thank you John
For more information please see John’s website – https://www.johnillingworth.com/

And finally if any Photographic Club or organisation is  keen to see the stunning photography and listen to John’s talk please contact him via. the contact page on his website

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