And lots and lots of sales 🙂 Thats gonna make any photographer happy 🙂
Last week I had a call from John Donegan, an experienced photo journalist from 702 abc radio.
“Is this Chris Bernasconi?. This is John Donegan from 702 radio. I’d like to do a radio interview with you and Carol D’Amici about your Antarctic exhibition Frozen Lenses. Will that be okay?”
“Ummmm….Yeah” THAT WOULD BE GREAT!!
We met him on Wednesday at Societe Food and Wine Bar. I immediately recognised him. Im not sure where I’ve seen him, or where I’ve heard him speak, but I instantly felt at ease in his presence.
He relaxed both of us immediately and within a few minutes our interview was being recorded.
“How was the trip” he asked….Hmmm….well, awe inspiring, life changing, spectacular, breath taking, unbelievable, surreal and sensational.
There really aren’t too many words in the English language to describe how I felt whilst I travelled to the Antarctic.
This world at the bottom of our world is awe inspiring. I’ve come home more of a greenie than I’ve ever been and am dedicated to protecting this fragile environment.
I hope everyone who views our images will be moved enough to take action to protect this amazing part of our planet.
John asked Carol and I many questions. He made us laugh, and I realised quickly how strong the bond is that Carol and I have developed because of our Antarctic adventure.
We shared a unique journey that not too many people on this planet have had the chance to experience. That has connected us forever. We laughed and recounted all of the wonderful highlights of our trip and answered John’s questions with passion and intensity.
All too quickly it was over. A quick photograph by him and then he was gone.
I love everything about 702 radio and feel honoured that our exhibition will be the point of discussion this Friday night.
Our story will also be on the 702 website. 🙂
I will let you know the time of the broadcast tomorrow….so stay tuned.
Thanks John for your professionalism and the chance to tell our story. It was a real pleasure to meet you.
Our exhibition, Frozen Lenses, is open all weekend at Societe Food and Wine Bar. Carol and I will be there most of the weekend. So if you wanna check out our pics, or our maps (you’ll love them) or just have a chat about the Antarctic, drop in and say hello.
I spent part of this weekend ‘gallery minding’ my photography exhibition, FROZEN LENSES – a photographic journey to the Antarctic.
I spoke to lots of people, showed them maps, talked about photos and described myself as a ‘passionate photographer.’
Later on in the afternoon I had the chance to do some reading – a book I’ve recently acquired called ‘The Heart of the Great Alone – Scott, Shackleton and Antarctic Photography’ by David Hempleman-Adams, Sophie Gordon and Emma Stuart.
This book is beautiful. The photographs are stunning. As I was reading I came across a couple of pages dedicated to Frank Hurley – the Australian photographer who (amongst other journeys) accompanied Shackleton on the Imperial Transantarctic
Expedition 1914-1917. Hurley was hired to accompany Shackleton and his men who were attempting to cross the Antarctic continent on foot (1800 miles.) His job was to document the journey and secure photographic evidence of the trip.
In Buenos Aires on the 12th October 1914 Hurley set sail aboard the Endurance with Shackleton and his crew. He commenced photographing them and working life aboard the ship.
So far, this is like any other photographer. Being passionate about the job at hand, I can totally relate to this.
What happens next though in this story is ABOVE AND BEYOND.
The ‘Endurance’, on its maiden voyage was built to crush through pack ice. After five months the expedition reached the freezing Weddell Sea and were within sight of land when the Endurance became trapped in the freezing ice. Nine months later, the ship was finally crushed, leaving the crew stranded on drifting ice floes in the unforgiving Antarctic.
Hurley photographed in adverse conditions that were unimaginable. With temperatures as low as -25 degrees Celcius, he continued his photography until the ship was finally destroyed by the ice. His darkroom was the ship’s walk in refridgerator.
Cold and then more cold.
His determination and commitment to his craft were unflinching and above his personal safety. During the final disintregation of the the ship, Hurley spent almost three days out on the ice, not wanting to miss one moment of the final peril of the vessel.
He had salvaged most of his glass plates and camera equipment from the wreck, but on November 2nd 1915 he wanted to retrieve the film canisters and negatives.
In Argonauts of the South (1925), Hurley wrote:
“We hacked our way through the splintered timbers and , after vainly fishing in the ice-laiden waters with boathooks, I made up my mind to dive in after them. It was mighty cold work groping about in the mushy ice in semi-darkness of the ship’s bowels, but I was rewarded in the end and passed out the three precious tins.”
Now read that again. He dived down into the FREEZING ANTARCTIC WATERS to retrieve canisters of film to be developed to show the world his photographs?
I understand doing whatever it takes to get the shot and preserving it for all to see, but honestly, Hurley’s story shows commitment that far surpasses many ordinary photographers.
A great deal of money had been advanced to the expedition against the rights to the films and photographs and it was well known how valuable these photographs were to pay for the cost of the expedition.
Hurley and Shackleton had the agonising task of deciding which 120 plates to keep and destroying the remaining 400 plates. This was necessary to reduce the weight of the equipment the men would have to carry across the ice.
This would be truly heart wrenching. As a photographer, I know how personally attached I am to each and every photograph. A huge amount of energy is expended taking each pic and to have to decide which ones to destroy would be an incomprehensible task.
Take a look at this shot of me (the girl in sitting down in the cream hat) photographing in the Antarctic earlier this year. Hurley and I share the same passion for photography, but I live in such different times.
I wonder what Frank Hurley would say if he saw this photo of me sitting comfortably in a zodiac, using a high end DSLR camera and lens, dressed in contemporary polar clothing?
I am in awe of a courageous human being like Frank Hurley. What a true inspiration.
If you would like to enjoy some of these fantastic photographs, you can obtain a copy of this beautiful book here.
Hempleman-Adams David, Gordon Sophie, Stuart Emma. ( ) The Heart of the Great Alone – Scott, Shackleton and Antarctic Photography, United Kingdom: Royal Collection Enterprises,pages 60-62