So, here we are at the end of our trip. To say it has been amazing would be an understatement.
I have presented a lot of information (and almost 350 photographs) in my previous 24 posts on Antarctica – and I hope some of it has been of use, or even remotely entertaining to you. Given the volume of information, I wanted to summarize what I found really important on this voyage.
First of all, grab a cup of coffee or a glass of wine (yippee … I like wine in the morning!). This is going to be long …
In my second post in this series on Antarctica, I discussed a few things that would help you in planning the actual trip. Here are the key points:
There are no perfect pictures, just perfect moments
I am reminded of a conversation that I had during the final night of our voyage before we docked in Ushuaia.There were so many great things that we experienced during the past three weeks: some things we did together as a group and some experiences were unique to a specific person. My friend seated next to me at the dinner table asked, “What are you going to tell everyone back home about this trip?“
I had no answer to his question. I didn’t even know where to begin. What could I say that would do this voyage justice? I knew that this trip would affect me somehow, but I had not imagined how profound the impact was going to be.
I had met interesting people on this trip, some of which I now call “friend.” I got to see some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world. The wildlife actually interacted with me and they were genuinely interested in my being there. A couple penguins even wanted to play with this photographer, this human. I really felt that I was part of the environment and I stood in awe of nature and all that she had to offer. I saw and experienced things that I could never articulate properly to another human being.
As photographers, we often strive to improve our craft in order to take better photographs – both from an artistic and technical point of view. When I photograph a wedding or something in nature, I always try to improve upon what I did before. The best photographers are always trying to get that elusive, “perfect picture.”
Eloquent words or a beautiful picture can never fully communicate that which has truly impacted you, and perhaps, even touched your soul. Even though I had taken some lovely photographs, the best images from this voyage had been recorded in both my mind and in my heart.
A mentor of mine (a very talented photojournalist) once told me that, “There are no such things as perfect pictures, just perfect moments.”
This trip was filled with many perfect moments. I now look back at my images and they remind me of those wonderful experiences that I had on our expedition. That is ultimately why I create photographs: to remind me of those important, perfect moments.
We come across them everyday in our lives – and especially on a trip like this. Be fully present in what you witness and connect with your subject. Your eyes are not the only things that can see. Then, when you decide to “click” your shutter, create your image from that place within you.
In Sanskrit, there is a greeting I like: “Namaste.” I believe it means, “I honour the place within you where we are both one.” My camera is merely a tool in an artist’s hands. My best images, however, come from that place within me that has a genuine connection with my subject.
That is how you create the perfect picture.
I am truly grateful for the opportunity to experience this remarkable part of the world. It is not easy to get there nor is it inexpensive. But it was worth every cent and iota of energy expended on it – ten fold. In the end, this whole experience has been priceless.
I hope and pray that one day in the future, I can visit these wonderful places again.
A big thank you to my little penguin friends. You have taught me a very valuable lesson in life. I will never forget you.
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