Antarctica and that blue, blue ice

I’ve just returned from Antarctica. I saw many breathtaking scenes that I am still dreaming about.

But the real reason I went there was the icebergs. I’ve always been fascinated by them and they were initially what lured me to Antarctica.

Well I certainly got my dose of those. 100’s of them – large and small – they were all spectacular.

I particularly loved the larger ones – such tall, powerful structures that drift in the peaceful stillness of the waters of the 5th largest continent.

I couldn’t keep my eyes off them. Being down low in the zodiac, it felt very surreal, as if I was in another world and at one with the ice.

Its almost as if time has forgotten them.

Why are some of the icebergs blue? Well its really all about compression of the ice and the colour spectrum.

Icebergs come from glaciers, which are formed by continual ice and snow. Snowflakes (frozen water) form and then become cystalized. A snowflake is a multi faceted crystal and these facets reflect light. As snow accumulates on the glacier huge amounts of air is trapped.

The blue colour occurs in ice that is generally hundred’s to thousand’s of years old. Continual compression as the glacier moves and heads towards the sea plus the continual thawing and refreezing of the ice causes the air that was originally trapped by the falling snow to be expelled. The ability to reflect light (and therefore appear white ) only exists when there is air trapped between the snow crystals. This very old, very dense ice is no longer capable of reflecting light .

Light that now hits the iceberg no longer reflects off it, it is absorbed by it. The weaker wavelengths of light are quickly filtered out (red, orange, yellow, green.) The blue wavelength has enough energy to reflect from, or penetrate deep within the iceberg therefore giving it that gorgeous blue colour……

Cool huh? 🙂

These photos were taken at Cierva Cove, Antarctica. 64.16S 60.89W. Don’t forget to click on the photos to enlarge them…

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Twas the night before xmas

Hi everyone, I hope you r all having a wonderful Xmas eve surrounded by family and friends….I have had a lovely night with my dad, barb, ray, Alyssa and my gorgeous boys…. Tomorrow it’s all of the above plus my brother and a whole lot of seafood….
I wish you all peace and love during this special time of the year and thank you for your support during 2012….
2013 is my 50th year… I will be doing lots more adventures beginning with antarctica in jan 2013…I can’t wait to show you my view of this special part of the world…
Merry Xmas everyone
Love Chris xxx

Italian Riviera – Cinque Terre on a beautiful day

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I can’t stop myself – drifting off and dreaming of the places I visited in Italy. They are still so fresh in my mind.
One of my favourite days was spent exploring the ‘Cinque Terre’ region on the Italian Riviera in Italy….
It was one of those days that just being outside made you feel good. The sky was a brilliant blue against the intense colour of the Mediterranean…

There was so much to see and take in….the beautiful, colourful houses nestled in amongst the rugged rocks. The colourful rows of fishing boats and the bright, beautiful flowers in every colour imaginable…

Our world has many so many magnificent places to visit and Italy has so many of them 🙂

These are some of my favourite photos from that day….
I hope you enjoy them 🙂

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Night Photography – tips and ideas for great shots

Night photography is fun. Great fun. 🙂

I love to photograph all types of landscapes, including urban landscapes. The shot below was taken on Cockatoo Island in Sydney, Australia.

This scene immediately attracted me…

There are lots of different techniques you can try with night photography , but first some ‘musts‘.

1. You need a tripod – a good sturdy tripod. So many people buy an expensive camera and then purchase a flimsy tripod – it just doesn’t make any sense. A tripod can easily be knocked over when you’re in the dark. Expensive gear can be knocked over very easily. 😦

2. A cable release -it can be wireless or attached to the camera with a cable. Either way they eliminate any movement when pressing the shutter (even whilst using a tripod)

If you don’t have a cable release familiarise yourself with the ‘self timer’ on your camera. This device gives either a 2 or 10 second delay between pressing the shutter release and the shutter firing.

3. I always have a torch when shooting at night. Great for finding gear in your bag and checking settings on the camera. Most DSLR’S have a light on the LCD screen on the top. Familiarise yourself with how this works.

4. Turn off the image stabiliser (if your lens has one). This device can also cause movement when it is switched on and is not needed when the camera is on a tripod.

For this photo, I chose not to use the ‘B’ (BULB) setting (which keeps the shutter open for any length of time you determine)

I wanted to see what I could create with a 30 second exposure, so I metered the scene at F8 as I wanted the smallest aperture I could to render most of the image sharp from front to back.

The image was still too dark, so I increased the ISO to 500 and took the shot.

I love this shot. 30 seconds bought out a dark blue in the sky and the green of the buildings. I really like the beginning of the star trails. See the small white marks above the roof of the building? If I had left the shutter open for a longer period (combined with the appropriate aperture) these white marks would have become longer lines that curve into a circle. Look at the star burst from the building light, and the bright green colour of the grass.

This shot was exhibited earlier this year in the ADD ON photography exhibition as part of the Head On Photo Festival. I was very proud to have my work exhibited alongside many other Australian photographers.

Are you into night photography? Do you have any questions about this post?

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments on Facebook , twitter  or pinterest.

Happy shooting 🙂