Best of the Best - Top Ten Travel Photos From Each Continent: Antarctica

At last we've arrived at the 7th and final continent: Antarctica. Only once have I made a journey to that white blob at the bottom of the map, and that was in January 2008. This remote destination showcases a unique beauty of stark contrasts and a primal sense that nature, not technology reigns supreme in this extreme corner of the world. It's been wonderful sharing my photos from the other 6 continents and I hope that you'll enjoy perusing my Top Ten favorite photos from Antarctica as well. Thanks for coming on this journey with me, and be sure to check out the Custom Travel Art store for great gift ideas for the traveler in your life.

 

1) Penguins on Blue Iceberg, near Elephant Island

Penguins on Blue Iceberg

 

This cluster of preening penguins seemed quite comfortable hitching a ride on a particularly large, particularly blue iceberg adrift off the shore of Elephant Island. Of all my shots taken in Antarctica, this is one is my favorite.

 

2) Gentoo Penguins on a Little Berg, Neumayer Channel

 

Gentoo Penguins on small iceberg, Gerlache Strait

 

This adorable troop of penguins lined up to dive off the end of this little berg just as our ship approached - but not before I was able to snap off a few shots of these cute little guys in action.

 

3) Arctowski Research Station, King George Island, South Shetland Islands

 

Arctowski Research Station, King Edward Island

 

With no true towns or settlements, research stations are the only inhabited areas of Antarctica, with delegations from various nations running their own facilities, such as this Polish research base in the protected harbor of King George Island.

 

4) Black and White in Color, Neumayer Channel

 

Contrast of iceberg, Neumayer Channel

 

Even though this is a color photograph, it all appears in black and white thanks to the stark contrasts of light and shadow, ice and water, and well, penguins.

 

5) Icebergs Aplenty, Gerlache Strait

 

Gerlache Strait

 

Much as in India, the Amalfi Coast and Vietnam, I was very glad I wasn't driving when our ship made its way through the iceberg-clogged waters of the Gerlache Strait. It was like the old Atari game Asteroids, only with ice, and visions of the Titanic were never far away - especially had I been driving (not that it was an option)

 

6) Elephant Island, South Shetland Islands

 

Berg Near Elephant Island

 

Completely nondescript aside from its role in the harrowing tale of Ernest Shackleton and his ill-fated attempt to reach the South Pole, a look at these desolate and icy shores makes their near-suicidal effort to find rescue seem almost sane (sort of).

 

7) Penguin Colony, Deception Island

 

Penguin Colony, Deception Island

 

A geologically active caldera, Deception Island is also home to hundreds of thousands of penguins -  and the attendant leopard seals who prey on them.

 

8) Sunrise or Sunset? Antarctic Peninsula

 

Sunrise or Sunset, Antarctic Peninsula

 

At latitudes this low, the sun never really sets in summer. The upside is unique lighting that bathes the passing icebergs in a golden glow, even though photographers in other places would never consider 3AM "golden hour". 

 

9) Textured Iceberg, Neumayer Channel

 

Textured Berg, Neumayer Channel

 

Something that makes a visit to Antarctica unique is that there's an ever-changing cast of icebergs in limitless shapes. From the enormous tabular bergs to the slushy 'bergy bits' that look like they could have washed off someone's driveway, no two bergs look alike and that's what makes it so interesting.

 

10) Tower for Scale, Antarctic Peninsula

 

Tower for Scale, Antarctic Peninsula

 

With so few man-made structures around, getting the proper scale of the massive mountains of the Antarctic Peninsula is a difficult thing. Fortunately I spotted this tower, which allows a sense of proportion - and enormity - that wouldn't be conveyed otherwise.

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1 comment

  • Thanks again for the free tour of another beautiful part of the world … my favorite was Elephant Island!

    Benny Bustos

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