Antarctica needs no introduction, we learnt about it in school and there’s a lot of concern now due to Global Warming. It was never high on places I wanted visit until a few years ago. This changed as I thought I’d better see it while it’s still there in all its splendour. The journey to get there is epic. We embarked upon Polar Pioneer, our ship at Puerto Williams in Chile. This is the most southern permanent settlement in the world. A real frontier town, the large majority of inhabitants are naval personnel and their families.
Then 2 days to cross the Drake Passage, one of the most feared pieces of water in the world. The Drake was kind to us, on our crossing we had a westerly wind, so the rocking and rolling was kept to a minimum. Bird photography with a telephoto lens is a challenge!
The first time you sight an iceberg in the open sea is exciting and breathtaking. My thoughts were how the early explorers and mariners without modern navigation aids must have had many close encounters, no doubt some with deadly consequences.
The weather in this part of the world is fickle, the first day of summer it snowed all day!
As a photographer, who really doesn’t have a set genre, coming to this harsh environment I had all the dreams of capturing “that shot” of a Penguin or a Giant Petrel.
What I found was that the majestic landscape engrossed me, yes the animals where important but they are only a small, but very integral part of this vast and beautiful but very hostile environment. As side issue you may see what looks like dust spots on some photos they are not, in fact its falling snow.
It’s an amazing experience the first time you actually land on the Antarctic Peninsula, on our trip we only did this twice, most landings are on Antarctic Islands.
The smell is something to embrace, akin to cattle or sheep sale-yards, it does go away after a few minutes as the nostrils acclimatise.
Deception Island is the caldera of an active volcano, which seriously damaged local scientific stations in 1967 and 1969. The island previously held a whaling station. The following images were shot with the intention of endeavouring to show the station and its surrounds as yesteryear and the harsh environment endured by those who inhabited it.
On the look out for whales and flying penguins.
Gold Harbour was gold!
Now to South Georgia – another 2 day crossing
Another two-day crossing to The Falkland Islands
Earlier I mentioned that the landscapes took my fancy.
In summary, a must do experience on par with the Arctic IMHO.
Nikon D4s – 80 – 400
Nikon D810 – 2.8/724 – 70, Zeiss Milvus 21/2.8, 1.4/35, 1.4/50
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I don’t even feel like apologising for this comment – Dallas, that’s the best post on DS ever! – thanks a zillion for sharing all those photos! 🙂
(Everyone else can fight over it – but that’s my opinion.)
Thanks Pete your comments are very too generous
What, no Salisbury Plain or St. Andrews Bay at South Georgia? If you didn’t visit one or both of these you really missed out notwithstanding how good South Georgia is. Only two landings in Antarctica? Again, you missed out on a lot. Antarctica, including South Georgia and the Falkland Islands, is one of the best and favorite trips I have ever done, even though I got sea sick on the ocean passages between destinations. If one is able to do it I echo the author – it’s a must do experience. Like no other on earth. If you do go, try to maximize your time there. It’s an expensive trip to begin with, and likely something you will do only once in your life (unless you are lucky). Go for as long as you possibly can to give yourself as much opportunity to witness and explore its majesty and wildlife (many trips that are two weeks in total give you about 5-6 days in Antarctica and don’t include South Georgia or the Falkland Islands; you need at least 3-4 weeks to include it all).
Unfortunately no, as you would be aware landing is very weather dependent and alas it wasn’t those days. We did spend 20 days cruising, I didn’t go into full details in my text.
Love your shots Dallas…….I’m a friend of Ken Meredith …
Thank you for posting these gorgeous images, Dallas. I had never before seen any greenery in pictures of the Antarctica. That was a surprise for me. Thank you.
Thanks for sharing these Dallas, they are fantastic.
Similar to Cliff’s observations about the grass, I am always taken by the more realistic images that most Antarctic visitors share, compared to what many professional’s publish. Visitors tend to record how it was for them, and whilst this sometimes results in totally surreal or out of this world images, they usually include plenty of shots that are more realistic of typical conditions. Professionally published photos tend to concentrate primarily on the most extraordinary images that they can produce, as if over hyping an already amazing environment is the only way to get recognition. Your set is more interesting than most published work because you include some variety in atmosphere and show a more realistic feeling. Having said all that, the opening shot with blue ice glowing is still special.
Hi Noel, I endeavour to capture what I see as realistically as possible sometimes you succeed. Your comments are much appreciated.
This post is amazing and a great inspiration on chasing the light – and freezing the moment for others to enjoy! This is the best set of images I have had the distinct pleasure to enjoy of Antarctica for their wide range of subject and skillful capture and processing. Thanks for sharing and inspiring us.
I’m humbled by your very generous comments, the pleasure was mine to share. Dallas
LOL – bet it wasn’t just “the moment” that got frozen! 🙂 Dallas, how did you get on with those sub zero temps? Issues like a lens fogging up internally & so on?
Pete no issues with lens fogging it wasn’t cold enough, both bodies (D4s & D810) performed well, no issues.
Dallas – this has no direct relevance ot your post, but it has indirect relevance to everything about DS, so I thought I’d use your article as an excuse to share it with everyone in the group.
Just found this passage in another group:
“For me, the attraction of photography groups is that they are people with a common interest, sharing their knowledge and experience, trying to improve their skill set and their photos. There is no space in them for trolls.”
Actually, this is a good point. Sites that are about gear are full of trolls and no pictures, and generally the opposite is also true…
So now everyone in Dear Susan can reach around and pat themselve on the back 🙂
Pete, I couldn’t agree more with the sentiments expressed in this quote, thanks for sharing, I just hope others take the time to read it.
The quote is exquisite and why I look at few blogs. What I like about this blog is it inspires me to capture moments and to improve and you share valuable knowledge to help me take my art to the next level.
Brilliant!! A fascinating post. Thank you for sharing!
The pleasure was all mine