Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Journey To Antarctica
The massive frozen continent offers photo opportunities of glaciers, otherworldly coastlines, massive mountain peaks and, of course, incredible wildlife
Preparing to photograph in the Antarctic region involves a few key steps. First, Lanting suggests that you read up on what has been done before photographically so you can look in another direction. Try to create your own private view of Antarctica, and be contrarian in your approach.
Next, determine when you'll visit and for how long. Lanting considers nine days a rushed trip, with two weeks being fairly ideal. Since the seasons are the reverse of the Northern Hemisphere, trips are normally organized in the warmer months from November to March. November and December are springtime, Lanting's favorite to experience the ice melt and birds beginning to nest. For penguins, including hatchlings, midsummer is ideal, meaning December or early January.
"You'll end up on a shoreline and then you have to be on foot," Lanting says, "so you need to be physically prepared for wet landings. Rubber boots, especially insulated rubber boots like muck boots, are absolutely the best thing to wear. You want to be prepared to deal with mud and snow, so before we even think about the cameras, you want to be able to get comfortable in muck and sleet and wet conditions.
"The core of preparing yourself to be able to do anything photographically," he continues, "is to be comfortable in wet, cold weather, and to be mobile. So you want to be able to carry all of your gear on your back, you want to keep things dry during landings so a photo pack with a rain cover is the ideal thing to bring. Dry bags aren't really necessary. Wear a serious rain jacket with layers of fleece and down underneath and, of course, gloves and hats and all of those things. The single best thing to bring along if you really want to get serious about photography is a serious pair of rain pants so you can crouch down in the mud or on cobblestone beaches and you don't have to worry about getting mucked up."
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