I am not unfamiliar with icebergs. Alaska has its share of glacial feeds that fill the fjords with wonderfully shaped, floating icebergs. But the morning this photo was taken, was a feast for my eyes, and in looking at the series, I’m compelled to relive it over and over. When I thought of Antarctica, it was this that I so longed to see. I woke at about 4:00am, the predicted time of our arrival at the South Orkney Islands, which were about a 2 day ship cruise from South Georgia Island. It was here, based on the satellite images, that we would begin to see large chunks of ice that were once part of the great Antarctica ice shelf. What would you think if you woke up to this? I stepped outside, looked all around me and sensed a bit of dual interest immediately. I stared in amazement for a short while and then could not resist the great temptation to frame the wild landscape in such magic light. Then I would lower the camera and stare again. The above frame was taken from the deck of the ship as we cruised towards our anchorage. When we reached our destination I felt myself say no, we can’t be there already, we can’t stop this drive by delight. The dramatic light moved around us for a few hours that early morning and then the weather degenerated into explosive and gusty winds. Once ashore, our expedition leader called the morning landing short and we returned to the ship after only a few hours. That little time on shore however was amazing, and I’ll say more about that in the next entry.
On a more technical note, I made this composition with a 560mm focal length (the 400 w/1.4x converter). I often use long lenses to reach out and give some compositional control over mountain scenics. Its often as much for the exclusion of something as it is the inclusion.