Downtime and Photography

A spectacular zodiac cruise on tranquil waters around Cuverville Island, Antarctica.

What’s Your Favorite Time of Year

Over the years I’ve known numerous people who proudly proclaimed that winter was their favorite time of year. It’s true to say that, in each case, these folks were all independently wealthy (not that there’s anything wrong with that). They drove expensive, German cars many of which incorporate heated seats; and they lived and worked in very comfortable and very well heated environments.

Whenever I’ve been out and about in the landscape photographing with these folks they fall apart, regardless of the weather. My point is that they either have no idea or have forgotten how hard winter can be. Move them away from the comforts of their artificially created environment and they fall to pieces.

Personally, while I’ve travelled and photographed in all manner of climates, I’m most comfortable in mild climates. While I love the long days of summer, Melbourne in mid autumn is a particularly beautiful time of year. The sun’s not so high in the sky, which is beneficial to photographers, yet the days are warm and sunny and the nights pleasantly cool. It’s the kind of weather that you can be active without having to be too worried about hydration, sunscreen or stacking on multiply layers as a way of staying warm and dry.

Springs okay, but the weather in Melbourne at that time of year is changeable and it’s often the time of year that brings windy days. And, regardless of the time of year, I’m not a fan of windy days.

I Love Autumn in Melbourne

As the season separating summer and winter, autumn very much represents a time of transition. I often see it as a time of melancholy, a metaphorical bridge between the extremes of joy and sadness, light and darkness. You might call it the middle path which is, of course, a very Buddhist notion.

I find autumn in Melbourne to be a very interesting and thoughtful time of year. And, while I love joy, bliss and happiness as much as the next person, it’s true to say that I find melancholy to be a particularly beautiful and poignant emotion.

Memories Of Cuverville Island, Antarctica

It's winter here in Melbourne, where I currently reside. In this part of the world it's my least favorite time of year. The days are short and, for the most part, grey. But it is a good time to process photos and, of course, to travel.

I wanted to share a particularly beautiful image with you today. The cool blue colors that dominate this view from Cuverville Island in Antarctica suggest a quiet, even melancholy beauty. But that's okay. Just like visiting Cuverville melancholy can be a deeply personal and intimate experience. I just wouldn't want to live my life there.

Photography is the Art of Compromise

Photographing such places is an interesting experience. As is so often the case with a great sunrise, photographing from a moving zodiac is a challenging experience. The photographer has to bypass the sublime beauty of the location for the somewhat more frantic experience of recording their response to it.

It’s a compromise to be sure, where much of the contemplative beauty of the location is replaced, at least during the time you’re there, by the intense, adrenaline rush of actually making the photo. But it’s an amazing feeling to know you’re made yet another keeper and you also have the benefit of being able to share the beauty of your experience, through your photography and social media, with the wider world.

There are so many wonderful places in our world to be visited and photographed. I won’t get to them all, but I do hope to return to Paradise Harbour again. It really is that special.

Glenn Guy, Travel Photography Guru