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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Antarctic Dreams

The exhilaration of being out of the comfort zone

Labels: On Landscape
Other factors needing rapid analysis were potential distractions in the foreground, such as bits of ice, depth of field, especially if including a large area of foreground, the shutter speed needed to ensure a sharp image on a moving boat with moving water ripples, and motion caused by six to eight photographers trying to photograph all at once! Even without wildlife in the photograph, setting the highest frame rate mode on our cameras was nearly essential to guarantee some sharp frames. Given the intensity of these situations, our group was extremely polite, considerate and patient with each other, united in our effort to capture the magic. Our Zodiac drivers/guides were exceptional at helping us find great photographic opportunities.
While adapting to the flow of this type of photography, I learned to watch carefully, to see when the confluence of foreground elements such as icebergs aligned dynamically with the mountains and glaciers in the background.
After our early-morning Zodiac cruise, while we had breakfast, our ship relocated to the Yalour Islands. It felt like we'd had a full day already, but when we landed to see a colony of Adelie penguins there, it was only 9:00 a.m. A short walk led us to grand views of the nearby mountains and glaciers, with penguins and their chicks in the foreground. The pace was leisurely now as we walked along a route laid out by our guides. While all of us kept the proper distance from the penguins, if we were still and patient, a few of these curious characters would approach within a few feet. Whether we photographed or not, this experience was priceless.

Since we had such an outstanding experience on our early-morning iceberg cruise, our leaders decided to return for a sunset session. We all boarded our Zodiacs for an epic evening of golden light and the surreal shapes of sculpted icebergs. The summer sunset of Antarctica lasted for two hours.

The day of January 30 started with the first image made at 3:45 a.m. and the last image made at 11:00 p.m. on the most spectacular day of photography I've ever experienced. A sweet Antarctic dream.

To see my full collection from the Antarctic Peninsula, go to my Facebook page, my Light On The Landscape photoblog or Google+, where I'll be uploading the images.

To learn about his one-on-one Yosemite workshops, ebooks and iPad app, and see his latest images, visit William Neill's website and photo-blog at www.williamneill.com.


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