Thursday, January 28, 2010

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Beginnings of the Book Project

Over the past several months, I have been revisiting and distilling thoughts and photographic images that I made in Antarctica eleven months ago. Quite often, people have interesting experiences and, as time passes, these disappear into the far recesses of their mind. That has not been the case with me and my memories of Antarctica; in fact, the things I remember seem to be getting more vivid as time passes.

I am working towards having a book of my Antarctic images published. My original intent was to have viewers see Antarctica through my eyes. However, as time has passed, the book project has evolved into much more than that. Before going to this land of eternal beauty and magnificent light, I had been shooting all of my images with film. I had learned Adobe Photoshop only to a rudimentary level so I could produce digital negatives for the platinum prints I was making. I wanted to post to a blog while there, which necessitated going digital. I have been studying and working with Joel Lipovetsky, a digital photographic consultant in Santa Fe for the past several months. Without his tutelage, the goal of producing high quality digital images and carrying that a step further to publish a book would have been near impossible. I am also working with Melanie McWhorter, a very knowledgeable photographic book consultant, who is making me think way outside the box. Without Melanie, any book I would have completed would be lacking many very essential elements.

My primary mission in photography, as with many photographers, is to study and observe light, capturing photographs like the one below of the iceberg with dark water in the foreground and dark sky in the background.

The images that are with this posting are not only representative of the beauty that I witnessed, but the abundance of wildlife and other natural occurrences. In one photograph there are over 100,000 penguins on a single beach, totally fearless of humans (shown above).

Non-vertical icicles on an iceberg showed me the power of nature: wind and water working together to shape these beautiful forms. When viewing these structures, one is only seeing a small portion of the whole. These images illustrate, for me, the relatively untouched, pristine, powerful and primal life of this continent.

All images shown here copyright Murray Brott

Soothing, calm, tranquil, eternal--these adjectives aren't deep enough to explain the feeling I had when viewing this scene from a kayak. In the photo shown above, I particularly appreciated the way a line in this iceberg resemblances a whale's fluke, giving another aesthetic aspect to this beautiful, serene simple scene.

Visiting Antarctica changed my life, how I view not only the surface of something but how I interpret its essence.

I am almost finished with the printing of images for the book and going step, by step, should complete the entire project in the near future. Keep an eye on the blog...there will be other entries before the book is finalized.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Devil Island

Yesterday afternoon while taking a nap, I was awakened to an announcement that we were going ashore at Devil Island, an island that has two peaks that appear as horns. We climbed one of the peaks and had absolutely spectacular views of the sea and icebergs below. I am learning how to distinguish between the various penguin species (gentoo, adelie, chin strap, emperor, king and macaroni. I would have like to see more seals but they seem to be avoiding us.

Today is the last day of going ashore and then we start heading back to Argentina through the dreaded Drake Passage.