Photographing During A Snowstorm On Deception Island

A group of old rusted oil drums at Port Foster on Deception Island, Antarctica

A group of old rusted oil drums at Port Foster on Deception Island, Antarctica

Deception Island is a wild and isolated place off the coast of Antarctica. I visited during a 2010 photography tour I co-ran to the Falkland Islands, South Georgia Island and Antarctica. We reached the island via zodiac from our ship, the Polar Pioneer, which moored just offshore in Whalers Bay.

A detail, photographed during a snowstorm, of rusted metal at Port Foster near Whalers Bay on Deception Island.

Needless to say the old Whaling Station we visited at Port Foster was a blast, both visually and literally. Exploring a landscape in the middle of a pretty significant snowstorm isn’t easy. Photographing under the same conditions is even tricker. The camera, a Canon 5D Mark II with a Canon 24-105mm f4 lens, handled the conditions well. I did have a plastic waterproof cover which kept the camera and lens dry, but was a real hassle to work with. I ripped it off and simply brought my camera in and out of a beanie, like I’d done so many times before.

The rusted hulks of old storage drums at Port Foster on Deception Island.

Due mainly to the weather the images probably look a little flat, despite very careful processing on the desktop. Nevertheless, I feel they portray the harshness of the environment, while still being interesting and descriptive.

Ruins of a building at Port Foster on Deception Island, Antarctica

Fortunately the conditions throughout most of our trip were considerably more mild than what we experience during our adventure on Deception Island. And, other than a few rough days and nights crossing the Drake Passage, our journey was quite comfortable. In particular our zodiac expeditions were great fun and provided us with many opportunities for great photos.

I’m very much looking forward to my next trip to Antarctica.

Glenn Guy, Travel Photography Guru