Paradise Bay Antarctica Adventure

Buildings at the Argentine Almirante Brown Antarctic Base by shores of Paradise Bay in Antarctica.

Paradise Bay is one of the most beautiful locations for tourists visiting Antarctica. Paradise Bay, also known as Paradise Harbour, is one of only two ports where cruise ships stop on the Antarctic continent.

My time in Antarctica was spent exploring the Antarctic Peninsula as part of a photography group tour I co-ran with Aurora Expeditions.

If you ever get the chance to visit the Antarctic Peninsula try to ensure Paradise Bay is on your itinerary. You won’t regret it. It’s an extremely beautiful location surrounded by huge snow covered cliffs.

Reflections in a small lake near Brown Base at Paradise Bay in Antarctica.

Ice Blue Color in Antarctica

Antarctica is, for the most part, a melancholic and monotone landscape, though the ice blue color of icebergs is particularly mesmerizing.

The dominant color of light in Antarctica is blue/grey, though sometimes the water can appear almost black.

That’s not to say Antarctica isn’t beautiful. It most certainly is.

But an Antarctica cruise is also challenging and, in addition to the time and financial commitment involved in getting there, you’ll find your notions of space, depth and scale challenged in this monumental landscape.

Antarctica is unique. There’s simply nowhere quite like it.

The strongest colors you likely to see during your visit to Antarctica are as follows:

  • Aqua blues of icebergs and sea water, sometimes referred to as ice blue.

  • Ice that’s stained red by penguin poop. It’s a consequence of a krill rich diet.

  • Red painted wooden buildings at research stations.

A small lake near the Argentine run Almirante Brown Antarctic Base at Paradise Bay in Antarctica.

Black and White Photos Of Antarctica

As you can see in the above photo of a small lake near the Argentine run Almirante Brown Antarctic Base at Paradise Bay I’d sometimes opt for a black and white rendering when photographing scenes with a very muted color palette.

That approach works really well when the scene in question is relatively high in contrast and contains strong shapes, lines and textures. I think it’s a great way of depicting this epic landscape.

While the above photo is a tiny fragment of the larger landscape it’s the near black shape of the small lake that caught my eye.

I love the way the black and white rendering emphasizes that shape against the surrounding snow.

In western culture we read from left to right. This image is partly dependent upon that notion, which I think adds some energy into an otherwise static image.

As much as anything else the image is about balance, an element of composition that’s not often talked about.

I remember being very conscious of balance when I framed this image in my camera’s viewfinder.

The idea was to find a balance between the dark water and cliff face with the much lighter ice floating on the surface of the lake and the areas of snow surrounding it.

Members of the tour group I co-ran to Antarctica making the steep climb, thorugh heavy snow, up the hill at Brown Station.

Paradise Bay | Climbing the Hill

One of the most memorable adventures on the tour involved a zodiac landing at the Almirante Brown Antarctic Base followed by a steep ascent to a hilltop view overlooking the sublime Paradise Bay.

There was loads of snow and ice to meet us on our arrival at the picturesque Brown Station on Paradise Bay.

Navigating our way along the slippery path from the small jetty, were our zodiacs dropped us off, over the short distance to the beginning of the climb was no easy task.

No sooner had I arrived I proceeded to sink, knee high, into deep snow. Moving forward, and upward, proved to be quite a task.

Still it was fun and, together with most other members of our group, I huffed and puffed my way up to the top of a nearby hillside for panoramic views of Paradise Bay and the surrounding landscape.

The view was gorgeous and I remember sweating like the proverbial, having stacked on way too many layers for this particular excursion.

Glenn Guy, the Travel Photography Guru, pictured high above the spectacular Paradise Bay in Antarctica.

Aurora Expeditions and Terry, the Perfect Barman

While on top of the hill overlooking Paradise Harbour one of the team from Aurora Expeditions, Terry, made the above picture of me.

Actually he insisted, for which I’m immensely grateful.

Like so many other photographers I have very few photos of myself. I’ve always been so focused on actually making photos of the places I visit and the people I meet that I’ve given very little thought to including myself in any of those photos.

However, I can now see that it would be good to have a few of those images to help me look back on my adventures in years to come.

There’s also the fact that, with a presence on the internet, it’s important to have a few photos of yourself so that folks know what you look like and that you really were there.

Those photos will help to personalize your experience and add credibility to the stories you tell.

As you can see Terry’s almost as good a photographer as he is a barman, a job at which he excels. What else can I say: he's happy, honest and a keen listener. The perfect barman, you might say.

I made sure I made a couple photos of Terry, from the opposite direction. The light and scenery for my photo of Terry was even better than the one of me directly above.

Here’s where you can check out my photo of the affable and talented Terry the Barman.

Sliding Down to Almirante Brown Antarctic Base

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Brown Station | What Goes Up Must Come Down

It was an achievement for all who made the climb to the top. We were all rewarded with fantastic views and a great surprise as we got to slide down the hill above the Brown Station on our backsides.

Believe me it was a far quicker and more exhilarating experience than the slog upwards.

As far as memorable and exciting things to do in Antarctica sliding down the steep, snow covered hillside above Paradise Harbour should be on your list.

The ice blue color of small iceberg floating in the waters off the snow covered, mountainous terrain at Paradise Bay in Antarctica.

Antarctica Travel | What’s Does Your Holiday Look Like

There is no place like Antarctica and a cruise down to the Antarctic Peninsular is an amazing experience.

Antartica tourism is booming. If you’ve been checking out Antarctica holidays, and are able to do take up the opportunity, I’d certain recommend a cruise.

If you do a little checking you could even find a tour that will allow you to explore your hobby, with an expert guide, in spectacular surroundings.

Antarctica Cruise with Aurora Expeditions

I co-lead a photography tour, but there were also kayakers and underwater divers on our particular Aurora Expeditions tour.

There’s just so much to see in Antarctica and the opportunities to make great landscape and wildlife photos are incredible.

Antarctica is a place for reflection. This massive, wild continent forces us to contemplate our life and our relationship with the natural world. And that can only be a good thing. Wouldn’t you say?

Our natural world is changing, fast. Now really is a great time to visit Antarctica

Glenn Guy, Travel Photography Guru