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Luminous Landscape

Crossing the Antarctic Circle 2009

In February 2007 I had the pleasure of participating in a Luminous Landscape Photographic Workshop to Antarctica. The trip also included locations such as the Falkland Islands, South Georgia, South Orkney and of course the Antarctic Peninsula. Unfortunately, crossing the Antarctic Circle was not part the itinerary. So, when Michael Reichmann contacted me to ask if I was interested in completing the journey my reply was a swift - Yes, please! 

As with the first trip, Jeff Schewe, Seth Resnick, John Paul Caponigro, Stephen Johnston and Kevin Raber would accompany us. We would also have the pleasure of Thomas Knoll's (author of Adobe Photoshop) company. We set sail from Ushuaia on board the MV Ocean Nova and crossed the dreaded Drake Passage. Our first stops after crossing the Drake were the South Shetland Islands, but the weather wasn't particularly for good photography. Weather conditions didn't improve much as we travelled south into the Gerlache Strait and the Lemaire Channel. So, Michael spoke with the expedition leader and agreement was reached that we cut loose and head as far south as ice conditions would allow rather than follow the planned route.

We crossed the Antarctic Circle (66deg, 33min) and then some, which brought us well down into Marguerite Bay. We had gone pretty much as far south as it's possible to go at this time of year and a lot further than most from the expedition team had ever been. We struck real lucky in Marguerite Bay as a high-pressure system brought much improved weather conditions. Many photos were taken from the ship and zodiacs, and we even managed a few island landings. With 24hr daylight and lots to photograph we didn't get a lot of sleep ;-)

The Captains' next trick was to navigate  "The Gullet", which is an ice crammed channel between the mainland and Adelaide Island. It took us about 6 hours to make our way through. Again, except for the Captain who had done it once before, this was a first for everyone on the ship. Actually, we were told that it's VERY rare to get near "The Gullet", let alone through it.

Going through "The Gullet" gained us an extra days shooting, which all but made up for the loss at South Shetland. We made many stops and zodiac cruised a lot for the next 3 days before heading back up through the Lemaire Channel and Gerlache Straits. Unfortunately, by this time, the weather was again closing in on us, but we did manage to see lots of Humpback and Orca whales on the way through. We also spent a couple of days cruising the Errera and Neumayer Channels, and again had the opportunity to land on islands such as Petermann Island, Useful Island and Port Lockroy. Overall the trip was a great success with the poor weather at South Shetland being more than compensated for by everything that followed.

In each location we had the opportunity to explore and photograph the unique landscape and wildlife found at the bottom of the world. The following images are a small selection of the 5500 plus images I returned with. Images from my 2007 trip to Antarctica can be seen at http://www.computer-darkroom.com/antarctica_2007/antarctica_thumbnails.htm

 

To access the images imply click on the thumbnail and a larger version will appear. Use the browser Back button or the one provided at the bottom of each page to return to this page.

 

     
Ripples, Neumayer Channel Icebergs, Neumayer Channel Cloud Pattern, Marguerite Bay
Ice Arch, Errera Channel Iceberg, Neko Harbour Ice Blocks, Andvord Bay
Castellated Berg,  Andvord Bay Evening Light, Neko Harbour Iceberg and Bergy Bits, Errera Channel
Cloud Patterns, Neny Island, Marguerite Bay Millerand Island, Marguerite Bay Blackwall Mountains, Marguerite Bay
Lenticular Clouds, Marguerite Bay Sunrise over Red Rock Ridge, Marguerite Bat Red Rock Ridge, Marguerite Bay
San Martin Station, Marguerite Bay Sunset, Debenham Islands, Marguerite Bay Sunset, Powell Channel, Marguerite Bay
Cloud Patterns & Pack Ice, Horeshoe Island Pack Ice, Horseshoe Island Pack Ice & Reflections, Horseshoe Island
Ice Arch 1, Prospect Point, Fish Islands Ice Arch 2, Prospect Point, Fish Islands Ice Arch 3, Prospect Point, Fish Islands
Reflections, "The Gullet", Laubeuf  Fjord The Chair, Marguerite Bay Ripples, "The Gullet", Laubeuf Fjord

 

 

 
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