Frequently Asked Questions
What Camera Do You Use?
First I want to say its never about the camera! I have friends that use $5 toy cameras and create amazing images. But for those of you who still want to know...
For The Last Iceberg; series I used primarily four different formats, I own many cameras that I consider tools. Different projects require a different set of tools. I use both film and digital cameras.
How Do You Get To The Arctic & Antarctica?
The first time I traveled on an Icebreaker it was in the Arctic in 2003, the ship, M/V Polar Star is a lovely small boat that is very comfortable (as icebreakers go) and is run by a company in Halifax called Polar Star Expeditions. I took this same ship in 2005 to the Antarctic Peninsula and in 2006 back again to the Arctic this time to East Greenland. I was very happy on this ship especially when Jorn Hendriksen was the Expedition Leader they are very safe and knowledgeable. Scientists, Historians and Researchers give lectures onboard and in the field. Unfortunately in 2006 they removed the two forward engines, which effectively means it no longer has the capabilities a true icebreaker needs in extreme ice conditions. www.polarstarexpeditions.com
In December 2006 I traveled on Quark Expeditions Russian icebreaker the I/B Kapitan Khlebnikov to the Ross Sea of Antarctica, this ship grows on you and having helicopters on board ensures that you will get places that you otherwise would have no chance to go. If you are looking for extreme tourism this is the ship. In fact it is the only passenger ship with such capabilities. This year I am the Artist in Residence on board another Quark ship named the M/V Orlova, it will take me back to the Antarctic Peninsula Region, I will give a report upon my return in January.
What Advice Do You Have For Aspiring Photographers?
Again I would say its not about the camera! If you are serious about photography make images often, practice seeing and look at as much photography as possible, both work you like and do not like. Begin an internal dialogue that help develops your own unique way of seeing and making images. Know what you like and why you like it. Most importantly photograph something that you are passionate about, there is not much money or glory in what I do, all I have in the end is my love and respect for the subjects I choose. Do this because you love it. I have been working on this project since 1999 and only now in 2007 am I starting to get any exposure for the work. You must be patient and passionate. For me personally I must honor my subject, be faithful to the quality of light and work hard.
Can I Be Your Assistant?
I do not use assistants; I enjoy the solitude of working alone. But thank you for asking.
Do You Manipulate Your Images? Is That Color Real?
I do very little to my images. In fact not much at all beyond Burning and Dodging (making areas darker or lighter). I sharpen and thats about it. I use NC film because it gives a true neutral color without over saturating the color; I sometimes de-saturate to be as true to what I felt I saw as possible. I have my digital cameras set to Neutral as well. That neon blue that the icebergs have really only happens in overcast situations. Its then that I work, because when the sun comes out the Icebergs just go white and lose their personality.