Journey to Antarctica – Part 5

Antarctica Map 04

The Final Leg, Paradise Bay to Half Moon Island

The variability of weather and scenery continued as our ship moved north from Paradise Bay, to Neko Harbor, and then out of the Antarctic Zone toward Deception Island and the return to Argentina.

Paradise Bay lived up to its name as our good luck with weather—at least from the photographer’s viewpoint—continued.  And I’ve since discovered that the scenery of Antarctica also lends itself nicely to Black and White images.

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View from Zodiac, Paradise Bay

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Paradise Bay, Mid-morning Light

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Vicinity of Neko Harbor, Evening Light

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Neko Harbor, Evening Light

Deception Island, part of the South Shetland Islands, is considered one of the safest harbors in Antarctica.  I guess you could say that, except the island is the caldera of an active volcano and your ship’s captain must know exactly where that submerged rock is located in the very, very narrow entrance (see map).Deception Island Map 02

Map of Deception Island

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 Inside the Caldera, Deception Island, mid-morning

 We were told that the island got its name because sailors had been going past it for decades until finally one curious ship captain found the narrow entrance was hiding a perfectly formed harbor.  For us, the deception was the weather.  When we arrived, everything was very nice.  But a few hours later a snow squall spun up making it a little difficult for the Zodiac drivers as they maneuvered alongside the ship.  (Click here to see a Vimeo clip)  But please overlook my limited video skills.

Our last stop in Antarctica was Half Moon Island, a 400-acre speck of land that was home to a chinstrap penguin colony which we were bound and determined to see.

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Chinstrap Penguin Admiring the Snow

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Chinstrap Penguin Colony

Interestingly, Google has a lite version of its “Street View” application captured (on a much nicer day) from this location, apparently the sole basis for its claim that it has covered all 7 continents.  Click here for a view not far from my image above and, although you may have to rotate the scene with your mouse, you will recognize the jutting rock on the right.

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Fresh Snow, Half Moon Island, Antarctica


Next—Iguazu Falls

After Before Friday Week 33

Robin Kent ABFriday Week 33 Before Dual                            Before                                                           After

The ABFriday Forum, managed by Stacy Fischer is an opportunity for photographers of all levels to exchange ideas of making creative adjustments in a photograph after the shutter has closed.  My submission this week was taken five years ago this week in West Virginia’s Blackwater Falls State Park.  The stream is Shays Run, just below Elakala Falls.  And if you think it looks cold, you are right.  Please visit Stacy’s Visual Venturing site to see the other submissions.

Robin Kent ABFriday Week 33 Before

Unprocessed Raw Image

A larger version of the original unprocessed RAW image is shown above. (Technical Data: Nikon D200 with 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 lens extended to 135mm; exposure 0.3 sec @ f/7.1, ISO 400)

Robin Kent ABFriday Week 33 Before 02

As usual, the first step in my workflow was to open the image in Adobe Camera Raw.  The adjustments made are shown in the image above.  The settings were as follows: Exposure: +0.20; Highlights: -2; Shadows: +58; Whites: +58; Blacks: -33; Clarity: +33; Vibrance: +23.  The goal here was to bring out the white in the snow and to open up the shadows in the dark areas.  But I knew a little more work would be needed in Photoshop.

Robin Kent ABFriday Week 33 After

Final Image

I didn’t like the brown color of the water in the image, even though it is a natural condition resulting from tannic acid of fallen hemlock and red spruce needles.  You have to be there to appreciate it. I decided to go with black and white.  But first, I wanted to get a little more detail in the snow in the upper left and lower right corners.  This was accomplished with a  Levels Adjustment Layer (Blend Mode Normal). Then I used Channel Mixer, checking the box for Monochrome and staying with the Default settings.  The image was still a little flat, so I used a Curves Adjustment Layer (Blend Mode Normal) to increase the contrast.

Other than the conversion to Black and White, the adjustments are relatively modest. I felt  radical surgery wasn’t needed and  I’d be interested in your thoughts.  And don’t forget  to check the other submissions at Visual Venturing here.