Capturing Antarctica – Tips from a Professional

Join photographer Damian Caniglia on an adventure to the great white continent of Antarctica. Led by polar experts and seasoned professionals, this journey promises an immersive expedition into one of the most isolated places on the planet. Witness awe-inspiring landscapes and wildlife and with Damian’s expert and friendly guidance; capture images that will forever preserve your precious memories.

Damian is an experienced trek leader and professional photographer. His international work has seen him travel to all seven continents, and his images have graced the pages of a growing list of publications including Australian Geographic, Lonely Planet and Architect of Kokoda. Damian is also a qualified trainer with over 15 years of running photography workshops and tours and is committed to helping you develop your own skills and learn how to get the most out of your camera.

We recently spoke to Damian on his experience and tips for photographing Antarctica ahead of our exclusive 40th Anniversary Spectacular Antarctica departure in December this year.

What are some of the unique challenges (and opportunities) when photographing in the extreme weather and landscapes of Antarctica?

While there are challenges based on access and weather, these only contribute to the unique photographic opportunities which are not available anywhere else, contributing to the appreciation of a successful image. The weather on any given day makes the landscape and wildlife photo opportunities unique to that location and time and is representative of your unique experience.

What level of experience is required for photographing the wildlife and natural landscapes of Antarctica, and how do you ensure that photographers of all skill levels have a rewarding experience during a tour with you?

The desire to create images is far more important than a defined level of experience. If you went on this trip with a phone camera, you would have the opportunity to capture unique, interesting, and amazing images because of where you are and what you experience. Time spent capturing images will naturally improve your ability and push into a more creative space. Add in a dedicated camera and the flexibility of how you can shoot the same subject matter opens opportunities you otherwise would not have with a phone. You can bring a higher level of creativity to your images based on that flexibility. The key ingredient is a want to create images.

How do you approach capturing the wildlife and natural beauty of Antarctica while respecting the environment and wildlife?

There are very clear guidelines that are communicated from the crew around how to respect the environment and safely interact with wildlife. When you are immersed in these environments, moving from location to location, there is infinite opportunity to create images while also ensuring there is minimal impact on the places you visit.

Can you share a memorable moment from your photography experience in Antarctica?

Consistently being the only people in a particular area, adding to the feeling of being in the wild and remoteness of a place like Antarctica. With the scale of the landscape and in the presence of wildlife battling to survive in such harsh conditions while having a camera in hand to capture it all is something that will stay with you forever.

How do you recommend guests heading to Antarctica prepare for their journey?

My recommendation is the same regardless of where you are travelling. Try to spend as much time taking images as possible, so you can develop as much comfort and understanding of the process as possible. You will never be able to replicate taking images in a place like Antarctica, Nepal, Africa or anywhere that is so different to your home. Practice, practice, practice, is the key. Go out every day and take images, come home, download the images, charge your cameras, and go out the next day and do it all again. The process itself is what will help you develop new ideas and creativity which is what helps your image making.

You will shoot a lot of landscapes and wildlife, which means you will shoot a lot with a wide-angle lens and a telephoto lens. Practice with both. Visit a national park nearby and go for a walk to take images. Visit your local zoo and take images of the animals with a long lens. These activities will help you to understand the challenges associated with taking images in natural environments.

Antarctica will offer you opportunities with image making that you will not have anywhere else. The more comfortable you are with the process of creating images before you go, the more you will enjoy each day and the more control you will have to capture images in the way you want to.

15 Day Spectacular Antarctica Journey

With limited availability, don’t miss out on the opportunity to join Damian on the 15-Day Spectacular Antarctica departing in December 2024. You’ll enjoy 9 nights on board an expedition ship to Antarctica, 5 hotel nights in Argentina, return domestic flights from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia, all meals on board the ship, all gratuities, group transfers, plus photography workshops, tuition, and individual mentoring throughout the journey.

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