|1/ Distant Ridge
most of the photographs that you see of the place, much of Antarctica is
actually very flat and boring. It's just that flat boring places don't
photograph very well and once you've seen a couple of shots, that's
about as much as you need to see.
Most of continental Antarctica is taken up with a vast
high ice plateau that part from undulations due to crevassing and ridges
of blown snow, is largely featureless. Most of the photographs
therefore are of coastal regions that present much more interesting
|2/ Peaks, ice and nunataks
in the Antarctic interior are few and far between. Many are a special
kind of mountain called a "nunatak". The Trans Antarctic Mountains
that stretch from one side of the continent to the other break through
the ice cap in places to form such nunataks - they are mountains that
are surrounded completely by an ice field. A sort of cold version of the
ocean and islands except that these are on land and raised high above
Due to their isolation and sterile surroundings, many
nunataks are little or never visited, though there are records of some
Antarctic birds such as snow petrels nesting on nunataks over a hundred
kilometres from the coast where they feed. Why they do so is unknown,
maybe they just like the scenery.
|3/ Mountain weather
weather is always dramatic. Pushing clouds and air up or down to
different altitudes with the effects that this has on winds and
precipitation. Shafts of sun often break through at unexpected angles
dramatizing the whole scene.
The shaft of light
in the lower part of this picture highlights the aptly named "Sunshine
Glacier". The arrangement of mountains and valleys and direction of the
prevailing winds meant that often the cloud cover was lifted above this
glacier so that a shaft of sunlight could illuminate it when everything
else is in cloud or shadow. Even when the glacier is in shadow, it is
brighter shadow than its surroundings.
Picked out by a shaft of sunlight. Robin peak glows in a dusting of
early winter snow.
|5/ You can't have too many sunset shots
....and the type I like best are where the ground is
lit up against a dark sky.