Antarctica 2009 Trip

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Antarctica 2009 Trip

Fortuna Bay to Stromness Bay

An early start to get the light. Of course, there's no guarantee the light will be good just because you wake up early, but then again, if you don't wake up early you have no chance of capturing anything!

We arrived in Fortuna Bay early, Shackleton's first arrival point on the east side of South Georgia Island (he had walked overland from King Haakon Bay). Steep cliffs fell directly into the waters and a black sand beach was home to penuins and elephant seals, plus a few reindeer.

Just after stepping out of the zodiac, a small huddle of penguins was making its way up the beach, beautifully backlit with the snow-covered hills behind. Using a telephoto lens and a low viewpoint (lying on my stomach), I fired off a few frames as they marched closer.

However, I think my favourite part of Fortuna Bay was on the flats behind the beach. I really liked the mottled gross, snow and pebbles and the patchwork of penguins.

I think the photograph worked well with a wide-angle and a telephoto - and as penguins aren't the fastest animals around, even a landscape photographer like myself had plenty of time to frame them.

A few rays of sunlight burst in the background and I'm looking forward to working on all of these shots in Photoshop to refine them.

After breakfast, we steamed around to Leith and Stromness whaling stations. These are abandoned and restricted - you can't go within 200 metres due to asbestos risk - and the fact the buildings could fall down at any moment. Nevertheless, they made great photographs, even from a distance.

We had some rare sunshine for our walk around Stromness, which lasted into the afternoon for a zodiac cruise around Prince Olav Harbour and yet another abandoned whaling station.

Shooting from a zodiac is actually not a bad way to travel, especially if you're in protected waters.We had some great reflections and viewpoints can be easily change by moving the zodiac around.

It would be wonderful to gain special access to these sites, but currently the authorities don't appear to be interested in providing special permits. However, if circumstances change I for one would love to be involved in documenting a very interesting part of our history before it is reclaimed by the cold and the weather.

Next: Grytviken


Peter Eastway Uses

Peter Uses

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