Mar 8, 2007

I’m Back From Antarctica But I’m On the Road Again

(click image for full size view)

After 14,000+ total air miles and over 3,200 nautical miles, I’ve returned from Antarctica only to get back on a plane Friday, March 9th to go south again. This time however, I’m stopping in the Florida Keys for a week of vacation. Boy, do I need it – Antarctica was a lot of work!

Here’s Seth Resnick shooting our home away from home for 18 days, the Professor Multanovskiy. (I think we were on the Multanovskiy, my Russian isn’t so good) Owned by Russia and operated by Quark Expeditions, we got to know the inside of this ship really, really well.

This is Seth in the wine shop in Ushuaia as we loaded up for the trip. When we walked in, the lady actually remembered us from last year. She had also seen my trip report from last year Antarctica Expedition. I’m planning on writing a whole story on the wine buying…as soon as she writes me back to tell me what the heck we bought this year. Neither Seth nor I have a clue what we drank – other than it was really good this time. No Malbecs!

Of course, buying it was the easy part, hauling it up to the ship was a task.

We popped open the first bottle within 15 minutes of getting in our cabin. Cabin 415, deck 4, port side, foreward (I learned all that ship talk pretty quickly).

Here’s the inside set up for downloading and working on Lightroom on my new MacBook Pro (the Core Duo & 3 gigs of ram really helps speed up Lightroom).

Yes, we had some really, really rough weather. At one point, the ship’s captain said we hit 32 degrees roll. And that’s to one side. . .32 one way will result 32 or so the other way for a total of over 60 degrees. But neither Seth nor I ever got “motion awareness” (Quark’s codework for seasick as a dog).

In fact, we were usually up on deck shooting even in the worst weather. He’s Seth after taking a slide on deck 7. Kevin and I walked around the outside railing while Seth tried to cross in the middle and mistimed a wave. The result was he was on his butt-laughing of course.

One of the really fun things we got to do was Zodiac cruises and beach landings. Here’s Bob and Jackie (expedition leaders) screaming back to the ship to bring more people to shore.

Here’s Ian Lyons looking forward to another Zodiac cruise in high seas.

On land, we pretended to be “yellow penguins” while shooting the real penguins.

We shot them one at a time…

…or by the thousands-literally.

I even shot the rare 15 foot King penguin. Well, ok, it was regular size and the person was really, really small. Well, ok, it was just a low wide-angle shot.

We had close encounters with whales (lots of tail)…

…as well as elephant seals…

…as well as these really cute fur seals. Who, we were told, may act territorial but won’t actually attack.

They can look mean and I tell you from experience, they WILL attack.

I was bitten on the knee. Apparently I’m the first person in the history of Quark to actually be bitten. Not a real bad bite mind you, but it did put a whole in my waterproof pants-which is what I was upset about until the docter, Doc Scott said I needed a shot.

Eeek, I really don’t like needles…

See the big smile on his face? I think he enjoyed himself way too much. And yes, the shot was a lot worse than the bite, but seal mouths are kinda not really nice places so doc said I needed a big anti-bacterial shot to fight off any infections. The shot worked. . .no infection. No scar either, unfortunately, but at least I have the pictures shot by Seth. There’s also a video.

Here’s Bob inspecting the wound. Really, fur seals won’t attack, right.

This was the actual seal that bit me a few minutes after he attacked. Cute, huh? Scratching himself like that. . .why, I shoulda had a fur coat made out of him!

The penguins were a lot cuter, like this one that came up to Tim to kiss him.

Some days were so warm we could shoot outside in t-shirts.

Seth brought an underwater housing so he could shoot the bottoms of icebergs and of penguins swimming.

He also decided to do a polar plunge. Watch the video…he looks like a black olive in a really big martini.

This was the calmest day…

…perfect for Seth to call Jamie on the sat phone (which worked like crap-at least the one WE rented).

Otherwise, Seth and I spent a lot of time in the bar. Seth doing keywords, me drinking beer, wine and Juan’s “special drinks”. We ran out of diet Coke about 6 days into the trip.

We also spent some time making prints on my favorite printer, an Epson PictureMate that we shipped down. We also brought down a 2400 for “real prints” but that was down a deck and not in the bar.

We shot a Lightroom in Antarctica video on the day that Lightroom shipped-Feb 19th, 2007. You can see the video as well as some of the icebergs I shot at my web site. See: ICEBERGS

This was one of the most unusual icebergs we saw…deep blue ice which indicated it was really, really old ice-maybe thousands of years old.

We also saw other icebergs that were like sculptures.

I celebrated my 53rd birthday on the trip-everybody gave me a bottle of champagne-oh goodie, just what I needed, more wine.

On rare occassions, we actually even got some sleep-which was hard to do when the boat was really rocking…

(click image for full size view)

Here’s a shot of the entire expedition. A great crew and great people and shooters…my thanks to Michael Reichmann for organizing the trip and asking me along. I had a great time but will be spending a long time editing. Seems I shot just under 200 gigs of images-almost 16,000 captures. It will take a long time to get through everything-heck, I’m still not done with last year’s trip.

And this story is just my preliminary story. I’ll be working on the full story down in the Florida Keys-which I think is just about perfect…looking at Antarctica in the tropics!

BTW, one of the reasons I shot so darn much was I was shooting 2-20 frame panos to put together with the new stitching tool in Photoshop CS3. The lead image in the story was done with the CS3 stitch of “Auto-Align” and “Auto-Blend”. Pretty cool-I’m having a lot of fun stitching!

5 Responses to “I’m Back From Antarctica But I’m On the Road Again”

  1. newrecruit Says:

    This is great. Thanks for sharing. I’m curious on how you manage all your photos? Do you have everything in a single Lightroom database? 200gb and 16,000 photos from a single trip adds up real quick.

  2. johnpaulcaponigro Says:

    Jeff! This brings back a lot of good memories. One of the best things about both trips was seeing how differently each of the instructors worked and saw and how that was reflected in the work they produced. Now I’m enjoying seeing how differently everyone presents their experiences as well, through our websites. Your take here at, Michael’s take at, Stephen’s take at, my take at Has Seth added 2007 images to his yet? (Images from 2005 are there in under current projects.) I don’t believe Bill has posted yet at I don’t believe Ian has either – would they be at Anyway, I learned a lot from all of you. And I’m still learning. I thought the trip was over! But in many ways it’s not really, is it? Oh, and it was so much fun being there with you guys. Here’s to the next trip!

  3. SeanMcFoto Says:

    Great tale Jeff,
    Belated Birthday greetings too. Enjoy the time off.

  4. Greg Barnett Says:

    Don’t like needles eh?… Can’t say as I blame you, that looked like a big one! Did they give the seal a shot too?… ;-)

    Glad all made it back safe & sound, catch up with you soon.


  5. Ian Lyons Says:


    Bill has images posted at his web site as do I

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