One of the aspects I’ve come to enjoy most about my time in Antarctica is the variety the job throws at you. One minute the job can demand absolute precision, and the next creativity and innovation. It was with the latter in mind that I somehow found myself landed with the task of taking our official station group photo. I’m not sure how this came to pass, given if someone ever thought to ask me about image lighting I wouldn't know where to 'f-start' much less understanding a 'f-stop!' Nevertheless, my lack of skill was made up for by my enthusiasm, and so I followed the old adage: in for a penny, in for a pound and decided to do a full-on photoshoot…on the sea ice….in the throes of an Antarctic winter! I’ve been known to make better decisions!
I printed off some examples of looks I was going for and was met with stony-faced silence when I presented the idea to 23 expeditioners; mostly tradesmen, who on any given day would pick throwing darts over deconstructing a DaVinci. This was going to be interesting!
To their credit, and my eternal gratitude, my motley crew just went along with it and plans were afoot for moving couches, ladders, and all sorts of random drapery onto the sea-ice! Everyone mucked in, and shock horror, folks were laughing and joking, and heaven forbid, they seemed to be having a good time.
Below you can see the results of our day playing at a photoshoot, but really my main reflection on the day was how fortunate I am to be with a team who are tolerant and respectful of each other (despite our quirkiness), and willing to be open minded, and muck-in together to have fun. Living in isolation in remote places such as Antarctica is as psychologically challenging as it can be physically, and increasingly so with time, and these qualities have stood us in good stead to see out our 75th ANARE season as it rapidly draws to an end in only a few months.
Special thanks to Jamie Terry, Scott Plummer, Garvan Timms, and Kirk Yatras for your invaluable support and help to make the photo happen!