If you visit Antarctica chances are that at some point you end up at Port Lockroy, a british base on Goudier Island. For most visitors arriving aboard their comfortable cruise ships the highlight is sending greeting cards from the southernmost post office, or adding an Antarctica stamp to their passport – mine was breathing fresh air and photographing a (probably) nameless peak.

Travelling on a cruise ship might be amongst a landscape photographer’s least favourite ways to get around. But if you want to visit the antarctic peninsula, and don’t have the time, money and guts to cross the infamous Drake Passage in a private sailing boat, it probably is your only option. Since in February 2016 I had neither, I found myself in Ushuaia embarking on a 9-day Antarctic cruise with a last-minute ticket that I had bought a few days before.

Explorers on a antarctic glacier, near Port Lockroy.

Into the White

Boarding our vessel – aptly named the “Ocean Diamond” – I left behind a maxed out credit card limit and entered a world of schedules, rules and small-talk during three-course meals. I had no problem to accept the measures taken to protect the antarctic environment and I soon got familiar with the cruise ship atmosphere. The walks on the shore though, during which we had to leave behind whatever was left of our free will and were walking in single file between penguins and their excrements, almost had me going mad.

In a way to keep me sane and my spirit alive I spent as much time as possible alone, outside on one of the decks, watching the antarctic landscape pass by. This afternoon at Port Lockroy was no different. It was the first sunny day after a spell of bad weather – the slight breeze was cool but still pleasant. Low clouds were drifting by and slowly dissolving, creating fleeting moments of dabbled light. And as if they knew that this land of rock and ice was missing a sense of scale, a group of climbers appeared on Harbour Glacier: walking into the white.

Near Port Lockroy

Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM @ 175mm
ISO 100, f/5, 1/640 second

21. Februar 2016 @ 14:04

Single Exposure processed in LR and converted to monochrome with a hint of split toning going for cooler shadows.