Antarctica Photographic Expedition is a blog post from the Miscellaneous category.

Antarctica Photographic Expedition

Posted by Will on

I have recently returned from a fantastic photographic expedition down to the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands. I was one of a team of photographic instructors working with Muench Workshops aboard the MV Ushuaia.

Gentoo Penguin
Gentoo Penguin

After setting sail from Argentina, we had a lively voyage across the infamous Drake Passage. During the crossing, our boat was rarely without an escort of Albatross, Giant Petrels and other pelagic birds. As we approached Antarctica, increasingly large icebergs began floating past in a stately procession. After two days of sailing, we finally reaching King George Island and the Antarctic Peninsula proper.

Humpback Tail
Iceberg Arch

The sheer grandeur of the landscape was overwhelming at times, with jagged snow-clad mountains and glaciers flanking the waterways that we were navigating. Every now and then a humpback or minke whale would gracefully break the surface nearby. It was quite magical.

Having recently had a camera converted to infrared for another project, I decided to bring it along to photograph icebergs. Shooting in infrared rendered the blue hues in the icebergs, sea and sky much darker. The resulting black and white photographs reveal the ornate and varied textures of the icebergs beautifully.

Iceberg in Infrared
Iceberg in Infrared
Antarctica in Infrared
Antarctica in Infrared

We made several landings to photograph colonies of nesting chinstrap and gentoo penguins. I have previously encountered penguins in the Falkland Islands, but it was an entirely different experience to photograph them against the stunning backdrop of snow, ice and rock in Antarctica. Capturing the wildlife in this environment became my primary aim.

Climbing Chinstraps
Gentoo Colony
Gentoo Penguin
Gentoo Penguin

In addition to the landings, we also explored the icy bays in small Zodiac boats. During one such outing, a gap in the clouds bathed a distant mountain face in beautiful soft light. As I composed my shot, something in the scene seemed to move. I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me but I fired off a couple of shots anyway. Then as I peering through my lens once more, the cloud of snow from an avalanche blossomed and I realised that I had been extremely lucky…

Antarctic Avalanche

I will be returning to Antarctica in December 2018 and there are still places available for you to join me! If you would like to learn more, please check out my expeditions on WildlifePhoto.com. A big thank you to Muench Workshops, the excellent team aboard the Ushuaia, and the guests for contributing to such a fun and inspiring trip. You can view more of my images from Antarctica here.


  1. Jude said: December 22, 2017 at 10:50 pm

    The single gentoo with the mountains in the background. That background almost looks like a map of the world- Africa on the left and then India down to Asia on the right. That’s my first thought. Fabulous photos!

  2. Will said: December 23, 2017 at 12:07 am

    Thanks Jade. Yes, I see it! Good spot 🙂

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