Antarctica – Stuck in Customs

Arriving in Antarctica

Daily Photo – Arriving in Antarctica

After a 10+ hour plane ride on that LC-130 on the right, we landed on those skis you see beneath the plane on the ice shelf. It wasn’t the smoothest landing in the world. We didn’t have windows by the seats (we were strapped into the walls like GIs about to parachute into France on D-Day), and the pilots later told me we landed so hard the tips of the wings almost hit the ground. Fun!
Anyway, after we got off, we boarded one of the largest land vehicles in existence. As you can see, it has the name “Ivan the Terra Bus.” Thank God it had a heater in there, because it was a little colder than I expected, and I expected a lot of cold.

Arriving in Antarctica

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2015-01-06 17:23:51
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/8000
  • Aperture4.5
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length17.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias-2

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The Long Flight to Antarctica

Daily Photo – The Long Flight to Antarctica

It was well over 10 hours from Christchurch, New Zealand to Antarctica and this was our temporary home. I had never been on a plane in these conditions, so it was great to experience something new. However, before I got on board, my friend Stu and I were warned about something that scared us.

We had a briefing from a woman that works for Antarctica NZ before we went. She told us the plane would have people going to the four bases down there: New Zealand, USA, Italy, and South Korea. Each one wore a different uniform. Of course, the Italians had the coolest uniforms that looked like red leather jetfighters that just jumped out of a Ferrari. Anyway, I’m getting off the point.

So this lady told us not to make eye-contact with anyone else on the plane and absolutely no photos allowed. We were like, WTF? We thought Antarctica was some kind of international kumbaya place where we all work together on cool science and stuff. Anyway, she was a total loon… and I completely ignored her and moved around the plane to meet almost everyone and take a ton of photos.

Somewhere above Antarctica.

The Long Flight to Antarctica

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2015-01-06 10:04:26
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/200
  • Aperture
  • ISO2000
  • Focal Length0.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Comments

there was a cracking sound that was first felt in the bones

Daily Photo – there was a cracking sound that was first felt in the bones

I am a very Zen person generally, so whenever I feel anxious or out-of-place, I try to figure out why. This is one of those places. I felt like I wasn’t supposed to be here as the ice towers turned and folded above me, cracking and pulling apart into an azure-blue glow. Everything was moving all the time, and I felt seconds away from falling into a crevasse and getting stuck forever. It was beautiful, ephemeral, and I removed myself from the ripping as quickly as seemed natural.

Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica
From TreyRatcliff.com

there was a cracking sound that was first felt in the bones

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2015-01-12 02:44:00
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/4000
  • Aperture6.7
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length28.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Comments

Antarctic Light

Daily Photo – Antarctic Light

One of the highlights of Antarctica was the way the low sun played with my Leica lens. Just lovely.

Antarctic Light

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2015-01-21 01:08:49
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/3200
  • Aperture
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Comments

a polar sunbow erupts over an iced volcano

Daily Photo – a polar sunbow erupts over an iced volcano

Antarctica – an epic place without scale or relativity. Somewhere on this terrible volcano are the remains of a jetliner, which crashed after taking off from New Zealand on a sight-seeing tour. I was on another plane, a CL-130, when I took this. The “”L”” means it lands on skis. It has no proper windows to speak of, but I managed to befriend the loadmaster who got me into the cockpit for take-off. Quite by chance, there was a polar sunbow that appeared over this most dreadful and awesome of volcanos. There is nothing that erupts new earth as close to the Antarctic pole, so to soar over it in peace was surreal. The white sun seemed to welcome everyone below and above.

From Series 1 of my fine art prints. Available in a limited edition at 2.5meters by 1.9meters. More info at TreyRatcliff.com.

a polar sunbow erupts over an iced volcano

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2015-01-21 08:30:51
  • CameraILCE-7M2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/2000
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length18.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias-2.7

Comments

Experimental in Antarctica

Daily Photo – Experimental in Antarctica

One of the highlights from my time in Antarctica was exploring the old huts which were used by early explorers. They were filled with loads of cool old equipment, some crazy stuff like massive iron cookers which were manufactured in the UK down to all these scientific items. And chocolate…

Experimental in Antarctica

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2015-01-20 10:53:22
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time30
  • Aperture9
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+2

Comments

Before it Sank

Daily Photo – Before it Sank

Here is one of the awesome Hägglund transporters that the team down at Antarctica New Zealand use. This is it in its natural state, unlike the day we were travelling in it and it started to sink through the ice. That wasn’t the most serene travel experience I’ve ever had!

Before it Sank

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2015-01-25 08:40:21
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/1000
  • Aperture4
  • ISO50
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+0.7

Comments

Shackleton in the News

Daily Photo – Shackleton in the News

I saw on the news earlier that there is a mission heading out to try and locate the shipwreck of Endurance near Antarctica. I can’t wait to see if they are successful and what sort of condition they find it in. In theory it will be pretty good condition considering it’s been down there for 100 years. Lack of life/bacteria due to the extreme conditions, etc. Here’s the inside of one of the huts used by explorers in Antarctica back then…

Shackleton in the News

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2015-01-20 10:53:22
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time30
  • Aperture9
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+2

Comments

Antarctica from Above

Daily Photo – Antarctica from Above

One of the things I enjoyed the most (and there were lots) when in Antarctica was being able to view it from above as we flew about in the various planes and helicopters. It’s hard to know before going how varied it might be. Would it mostly be flat, icy nothingness? Definitely not and even when things were quite flat there was always something interesting to see, like these weird shapes in the ice.

Antarctica from Above

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2015-01-15 12:32:03
  • CameraILCE-7S
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/4000
  • Aperture4
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length23.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias-0.7

Comments

Steppingstones in Antarctica

Daily Photo – Stepping Stones in Antarctica

These do look a bit like steppingstones, I think. Probably wouldn’t be wise to use them as such though…

Stepping Stones in Antarctica

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2015-01-20 16:09:50
  • CameraILCE-7S
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/320
  • Aperture11
  • ISO125
  • Focal Length27.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Comments