Sunrise 2:30 a.m.
Camera: Phase One P65+, 75-150mm, 645DF
Settings: f/11, ISO 400, 1/250 sec, six shot panoramic
When: December 2010
The Antarctic sky had cleared for the first time during our trip, the cruise ship floating near the Lemaire Channel. You don’t anchor in Antarctica, you turn slowly around a stationary point for the night. The captain estimated sunrise at 4am so a 3:30 shoot was planned.
That evening the light was surreal and stretched into a four hour sunset. Every 30 minutes I climbed up to the observation deck to photograph the changing light. One by one the others passengers retired to their cabins. Eventually, I was the only one awake shooting and loading images into my laptop. After midnight I decided I might as well stay awake until the sunrise and kept up my 30 minute routine. At 2:30 the sky burst into incredible color and in a few moments the color was gone.
I traveled to Antarctica a year after a near-fatal accident in the Arkansas wilderness. I still recall my emotions of being alive, completely alone, on this ghostly quiet ship in the middle of Antarctica – unbelievable! Outside in my shirt sleeves the temperature just above freezing I reflected on the accident, months of therapy to walk and here I was the sole witness to this incredible scene. That moment was the beginning of my passion for photographic discovery that continues to this day.
Your darkest moment may contain the seeds of your destiny
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