The last few days in Buenos Aires seem to have passed with some degree of speed – I guess that is just the way it goes the first time you visit a new city when there is so much to see and do in a limited amount of time. My friend Martyn and I are flying out early this morning (straight after breakfast) for the worlds southern most permanent town – Ushuaia; where we will spend a few days photographing along the beaches and mountains before we set sail for Antarctica. I am keen to head south after a few days in B/A and embrace the colder climate at the bottom of South America – Warm climates are just not my cup of tea.

If I am to be politically correct I have mixed feelings about Buenos Aires as a city. I far prefer to spend my time out in the wilderness amongst waterfalls, glaciers and mountains so my opinion of any city is always going to present somewhat in the negative. The poverty in many parts of Bueons Aires is extreme by Australian standards. This was particularly evident in the more seedy areas around La Bocca. One only has to wander down a side street away from the tourist hot spots to feel quite isolated and unsafe (at least that is how it felt to me). The city is extremely run down and dirty by Australian standards. Combined with the dense population and usual city grime and I find myself yearning for nature’s unspoilt wilderness. Its not hard to see why Melbourne is the worlds most liveable city.

Don't Jump at La Bocca!


Martyn and I managed to find our way over to the Cementario De Recoleta early this afternoon where we spent some time wandering amongst the maze of ancient crypts and tombs before settling into a nearby cafe in the shade for a cold drink and a spot of lunch. Its quite hot and humid today in Buenos Aires (33 degrees celsius) and I was well and truly ready for a beer and seat in the shade after a couple of hours in the sun. The Cementario de Recoleta is a fascinating location and I could easily spend hours and hours photographing in and around the multitude of decrypit crypts and statues that make up this cemetery. The Cementario de Recoleta is one of those locations that would be just wonderful to photograph with rain and or mist / fog. As it was we had to make do with brilliant sunshine on a cloudless day – hence the focus on detail and not the big picture. As is often the case with these things there is immense pleasure to be found in the detail; although the myriad of walkways amidst the grand crypts are incredibly impressive and awe inspiring. This was the first time I have pulled my camera out of the bag (just the S90 Point and Shoot) since I arrived in Buenos Aires and it feels good to have a few shots ‘in the can’. Although this is not the sort of photography I pursue on a regular basis it was very enjoyable and it felt good to start exercising the shutter finger and get my mind into a more creative frame of mind.

The Candelabra
La Rose et la Vampire
Family Ghost


A more pointed example than Buenos Aires that big cities are just not my cup of tea I cannot imagine. The sprawling, seething urban metropolis ticks all the boxes for things I dislike about big cities – pollution, over-crowding, poverty, crime, grime, the list goes on. And to top it all off its far too hot for my liking with temperatures in the low 30’s celsius. I will be very glad to head south in a couple of days to the much smaller town of Ushuaia, much cooler climate (sub ten degrees celsius) and nearby mountains. Until then I am going to see a few local sites including La Bocca (the home of the Tango) and otherwise relax to while away the time.

The journey over from Australia was uneventful and I was thankfully able to break the back of the long haul flight with a good six hour sleep – yes, a few scotches helped. I was treated to an absolutely superlative view (thanks to clear skies) of the snow capped Andes mountain range as we crossed into South America from the window of the plane. The Andes would rate as one of the most spectacular mountain ranges I have ever laid eyes on – absolutely beautiful and stretching as far as they eye could see. With any luck I should get another view of them on the flight to Ushuaia if the weather stays clear.

For now, its time for some breakfast and just a small amount of local culture…


Pinch me and call me excited! After a year and a half of waiting the date of departure has finally arrived and I am flying out very early AM tomorrow morning for Buenos Aires on my way to Ushuaia and then Antarctica. I booked this expedition well over a year ago now and to be honest; much like a child waiting for Christmas it just felt like it was never going to get here. Antarctica has been a long time dream for me and my shutter finger is itching to starting loosing some frames amongst my favourite subjects (icebergs and glaciers) at the bottom of the world. There is quite a bit of travel ahead of me over the next 5-6 days including two days sailing across the notorious Drake passage; but I am looking forward to the first ice sighting off the bow very much.

I am going to do my best to keep my blog up-to-date throughout the trip; however, once we board the Ocean Nova and set sail for Antarctica there will be no internet access and updates will have to be posted when we get back to Ushuaia at the conclusion of the trip. Although Antarctica is well and truly the primary focus of this trip I am also looking forward to spending a couple of days in Buenos Aires with my good friend Martyn before we head south to the small town of Ushuaia at the bottom of South America. From Ushuaia we sail for Antarctica. I am not at all prone to sea sickness and to date have never suffered from any kind of motion sickness. Nevertheless I am taking no chances in the wilds of the Drake passage and am packing patches and tablets just in case. The only time I plan to be leaning over the side of the ship is to take photographs – not to loose my lunch.

I have had a lot of time to consider what photographic equipment to take me with on this trip and if you have been following my blog you will have probably noticed that I was pretty much considering taking ‘everything’. Nothings changed – I have packed every piece of glass and camera in my arsenal lest I find myself in a situation where I want and need, but don’t have. It means I am schlepping some considerable weight and bulk in camera equipment through airports etc.; but once I get onto the ship I can pretty much unload and take what I feel I need on individual zodiac and shore excursions. It should be very exciting and I have all fingers and toes crossed for some amazing Antarctic light. See you in Buenos Aires in a day or so…


I wrote a brief blog post a few weeks ago that some of my photography had been selected for inclusion in the  2011 Silvershotz Folio Journal. I have known for some time now that my work was being included in the journal but  it was  still exciting to finally receive my copies in the mail yesterday evening and to see the work in print.  The below is a scan of the text and leading photograph – ‘Selfoss Before Storm’. The folio also includes ‘Well of Life‘ and ‘Blue Berg‘. Silvershotz has a wonderfully diverse selection of photography represented throughout its pages and I would encourage anyone interested in fine art photography to check it out.