The two biggest problems I have had processing images from our trip have been scale and colour. Let me start with an example.
I called this whale scale. Looking at this it is easy to overlook the fact that centre mid-foreground are two cruising humpback whales. The iceberg right background is the size of a skyscraper. We took the zodiacs as close to this berg as we dare. Before I illustrate the size I come onto the captioned question. What colour is ice. We left the Vavilov as far as I recall around 5.30am. We were out for about three hours. Longer than that and the biting cold chills through your multiple clothing layers, primarily due to inactivity. Walking you stay warm. Sitting in a zodiac you chill. During those three hours my perception of the colour of the environment changed dramatically. When I process the images there is a balance to be chosen between authenticity and interpretation. Shooting RAW allows me to make the changes I want but they may not reflect the memories others have of those moments in time. And so my shot taken of the iceberg below was probably at the end of the trip as we cruised back to the boat whereas the shot above was taken early on as we negotiated the floe ice. One Ocean were always alert to the danger of the way the ice can shift with current and wind so we were always checking to see if we had a route, however indirect, back to safety.
Those dots on the lower left shelf are penguins. So compare the scale – whales, icebergs, penguins….. And the shades run from a washed out grey to a beautiful blue.
To demonstrate the consistency of my memory, here is another shot I took early in the cruise.
This is certainly substantially bluer than the first shot but lacks the glow of the later image.
I also tried processing these scenes in monochrome but sadly I could not find an effective tone. The ice looks either dirty grey or, if pushed, almost black. Completely unrealistic. Arguably they look good as an image but who thinks of icebergs as black? To me that was pushing beyond an interpretation and straying into converting for the sake of converting.
Once again you can see the huge iceberg against the coastline. Such distances are hard to judge but the ice made it too risky for us to attempt our planned landing. This was to have been I think our main target for Adelie penguins and hence the paucity of our sightings for the trip. The compensation was more Chinstraps on ice. And so to round off this post, here are two more chinnies for your enjoyment (and mine).
Welcome to Antarctica, says Chinny.
And then, when we don’t throw him any krill, he slopes off dejectedly.
So that’s it. Any suggestions how to deal with colour and scale would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
Oh and thank you for making this my best month ever for stats – and in only half a month. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, penguins bring home the bacon.