It feels appropriate to post up a Penguin photograph as the image of the month for November as I am currently making my way from Australia to Ushuaia in South America in preparation for two back-to-back expeditions to South Georgia Island and Antarctica. This photograph was taken at Petermann Island in Antarctica in November last year during a fourteen day expedition. Shot near midnight we had been photographing pretty much non stop for more than twenty four hours. This was one of the last images I made that day of a male and female Penguin watching the Antarctic sunset. It was an interesting decision how to expose this shot and in the end I elected to go for more of a silhouette look and let the Penguins go quite dark. The Penguin shape is so distinctive as to be instantly recognisable irrespective of detail. I probably shot two or three dozen different frames of this scene as the Penguins moved around – but it is this one with the outstretched flippers from the male and with the female looking up at him that really worked for me.
After more than two days of constant travel, including five separate plane rides, I have now arrived in Ushuaia South America – the most permanent southerly settlement in the world. It is somewhat surreal for me to be back in Ushuaia and headed for South Georgia Island and Antarctica after being high in the Arctic and only 600 miles from the North Pole only a couple of months ago. This is not the first time I will have visited both the Arctic and Antarctic in a single year, but it is the closest in terms of time difference. It is fantastic to have arrived in Ushuaia in the middle of quite a steady snowfall and the Andes Mountain Range looks absolutely spectacular in fresh snow.As I have previously written, Ushuaia itself is a wonderful town with some great restaurants, shops and cafe’s and it has been fantastic to meet up with both old friends with whom I have had the pleasure of travelling with many times now, but also new friends who will be experiencing the magnificence of the Great White Continent for the very first time. In some ways I envy those travelling for their first time to Antarctica. Seeing Antarctica for the very first time is an awe inspiring experience and photographing it with fresh eyes is something you only ever get to do once. I always get a huge thrill from the visceral and palpable air of excitement first time and repeat visitors radiate as they board the ship and we throw off our lines and sail down the Beagle Channel. I am very much looking forward to our experiences ahead and sharing everything we discover.
This will be my last ‘in person’ post now (I have a few automated posts scheduled) for at least the next twenty one days as we sail from Ushuaia, to the Falklands, South Georgia Island and then Antarctica. I do have a few posts automated for my time away and I hope to post an update on what our expedition was like after we dock back in Ushuaia on the 22nd of November and before I head to Patagonia on further travels. Until then, Bon Voyage.