This week, one of our resident semi-professional photographers, Will Kenton, talks us through what it takes to get the perfect Antarctic photo.

A snapshot of Antarctic astro-photography in the field

First things first, it’s -23°C and a windchill of -30°C, so think of warm clothing and then add two more layers.

So now you’re dressed and feeling like the Michelin Man, you grab your camera and tripod and head out of the cold porch minding your head as the door frame is only 5ft high for unknown reasons (caution, low door is low).

The biting cold already reminds you of any bare skin left uncovered, frost bite isn’t pretty.

So you and your fellow expeditioners scurry down from the hut onto a nice patch of snow or rock and set up your gear, Aurora Australis (southern lights) are streaming over the heavens as it wraps from one side of the horizon to the other.

You start to fiddle with camera controls and most likely remove your outer glove to get a better feel of the button and dials, after a minute the sting of your fingers becomes almost unbearable so you hastily pick a bright star to focus on, set your self-timer and hit the shutter button and wait for the exposure to finish.

You hear the collective gasp from your fellow expeditioners as they are amazed by what they’ve just captured, that image was created from Solar wind particles that have travelled over 150 million kilometres or 92 million miles from our nearest star, to then hit our Earth’s magnetic field and then burst into a brilliant show of southern lights.

We’re just some of the lucky few who get to experience such a phenomenon of nature in such a breathtaking place, but now your toes are starting to numb from the snow and ice under your boots, time to retreat back to the hut for a hot beverage and good night’s rest.

Will Kenton

Expert tradesman and photographer