Deception Island Antarctica – The Hand of Man

Deception Island is an island in the South Shetland Island archipelago off the Antarctic Peninsula. It is renowned as one of the safest harbours in Antarctica and has been for me a regular stopping point during Antarctic expeditions. The island itself is actually the caldera of an active volcano and geothermal sulphur still rises along the waterline. Photographer pauses to admire the beauty, partially hidden by riThe volcano caused serious damage to local scientific stations in 1967 and 1969. The island is perhaps best known historically for its whaling station; although it is now regarded as a tourist destination with a scientific outpost. Interestingly there are various countries that havee claimed sovereignty over the Island but it is thankfully administered under the Antarctic treaty system.Deception IslandI have been fortunate to visit Deception Island and Whaler’s Bay now on several different occasions. In fact, I actually posted a series of images here on my blog I titled ‘Made of Steel‘ from my first visit back in 2011. There is a palpable sense of grim history to this location and I have heard many first time visitors remark on the impact this location has had on them. Having visited this location many times now it remains for me one of the most sombre locations I have ever photographed with its dark whaling history. I feel a strong sense of foreboding at Whalers Bay, although I have enjoyed the photographic opportunities at this location very much. Whaler’s Bay is in many ways a a stark reminder of the way we were. Its rusting whaling remnants are a poignant reminder of humanities injustices on Nature. It is said, that at the height of the whaling in this area there were so many whales slaughtered that the bay turned red with blood. Now, many decades on from the injustices of human action the rusting remains of the whalers activities serve as some very interesting photographic subjects. Deception IslandThese three photographs were made during my recent expedition to Antarctica at the end of 2014 (the first photograph of the photographer on the beach was taken in 2011). They summarise for me the feeling of this abandoned location and capture something of the haunting atmosphere that seems to hang so low over the land. Interestingly all of these photographs were made during heavy snowfall. I have visited Deception Island in a range of different weather, but it is the images captured in the driving snow that best convey the feeling of this location for me.Deception Island

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