Feedback on work produced during a workshop is an important part of each learning experience. Useful feedback usually starts with identifying core strengths before a discussion about how to improve (no matter how successful images are) and identifying possible next steps.

Here’s a collection of participant images from our Antarctica Crossing The Circle 2013 Voyage and a quick note about each image’s core strengths.

Ginette Vachon presents peak action in a way that elicits empathy

Cathrine Spikkerud enlivens an other-worldy stage with quiet understated action

Nancy Leigh animates an already dramatic stage with an energetic gesture

Marilynn Nance uses rhythm and perspective to make an historic building even more interesting

Robert Pettit use repetition to create a play between balance and imbalance

Fusako Hara explores the transitions between realism and abstraction

Benoit Feron uses line and texture to reveal natural processes

Jodie Willard uses opaque layers a strongly felt sense of space through design

Karin Pettit use transparent layers to portray depth

Norm Larson uses abstraction to portray not just an external reality but also to suggest an internal state

Celie Placzek uses number and proximity to suggest community

Jim Brewster uses negative space to highlight important figures amid chaos

Dennis Lenehan uses mass and volume to create dramatic contrasts

Geir Morten Skeie employs a delicate palette to create a transcendant mood for a monolithic structure

Joelle Rokovich expresses contrasts in scale to express size and distance with a minimalist efficiency

Find out about our 2014 Fly Antarctica Sail Across The Circle Voyage here.

Only 9 spaces are left.

Seth Resnick loves wine. So does Greg Gorman. The two of them have taught me most of what I know about wine. Through them I’ve come to appreciate wine in new ways and with a new depth of understanding. They know that if they drink wine with me, I’m going to ask a lot of questions, to learn as much from them as I can and to appreciate the wine I’m drinking with them even more.

On many of our Digital Photo Destinations workshop adventures, Seth and I share wine with our participants. On our 2013 Antarctica South Of The Circle Voyage we bought enough wine for the entire group to try a new wine at the start of each evening meal. As we embarked from Argentina, we selected only Argentinian wines, mostly reds, found at our favorite wine store in Ushuaia – Quelhue. Something that we looked forward to each night the wine started conversations, lifted spirits, and strengthened our community.

Here’s a list of the seven best wines we had during our voyage; each ranked on a scale of 1-10 (10 highest). You might enjoy them too. I use the iPhone app Wine Notes to record my impressions and usually include a picture of the person I drink the wine with along with the label in each entry as part of this journal. These are my only opinions (with input from Seth). Be mindful that I like my wines like I like my people, with character.

9.1            Malbec                                    Achaval Ferrer / Finca Bella Vista             Perdriel             2007

A truly elegant wine from old vines in volcanic soil riddled with complex flavors that are so beautifully blended they are hard to separate and keep changing from beginning to end and through its extremely long finish. It’s often appropriately referred to as a “chimera”.

8.9            Cabernet Sauvignon            Luigi Bosca                                                                          2010

Big, bold, full-bodied. Beautifully balanced structure with a great beginning, middle and end, with a long finish. Red fruits, cherry dominant with hints of chocolate, coffee, and cinnamon and distinctive earth flavors.

8.8            Malbec                                    Tapiz                                                            Black Tears            2008

Smooth full body with great mouthfeel (maybe a touch chewy) and solid structure and tannins. Big berry flavors, currant dominant. Complex layers. You can taste that it came from volcanic soil.

8.4            Tannat                                    Quara                                                                                    2009

Really big, complex, and earthy (especially on the nose). Fast, but lingers long with hints of cinnamon and tobacco. It’s unusual to find this grape on it’s own instead of blended.

8.4            Cabernet / Malbec            D V Catena                                                                         2010

Red fruits (cherry, raspberry, strawberry) with a hints of mint and eucalyptus. The smoky earth flavors from ashy volcanic soil gives it rich character.

8.4               Cabernet Sauvignon            Gascon / Finca Escorihuela Gascon            Reserva            2009

Elegant, rich, full, classic cabernet that doesn’t hide the earth it was grown in.

8.3            Malbec                                    Tomero                                                Gran Reserva            2008

A classic Malbec in every sense.

Wine is just one of the things that makes our workshops unique.

Find out about our 2014 Fly Antarctica Sail Across The Circle Voyage here.

Only 9 spaces are left.

 

My daily log of my most recent voyage to Antarctica is now live.

Feb 10 – 20 Seth Resnick and I lead an intimate workshop aboard the Sea Spirit to cross the Antarctic circle with many highlights along the way including sites we’ve visited many times before Deception Island, Half Moon Island, La Mer Channel, Plenneau Bay, Cierva Cove, Neko Harbor, Paradise Bay and others we’d never seen like Torengsen and Cuverville Islands. The locations never look the same twice, changing dramatically with season, weather, and light. On this voyage, at first calm and sunny, the weather turned windy offering many moody images.

You can see many more images and read the stories behind them here.

Plus, you can compare them with images and stories from 2011 and 2009 too.

Find out about our next voyage Fly To Antarctica / Cross The Circle 2014 here.

My free screensaver features beautiful images and fascinating facts on Antarctica.

Download it here.

Antarctica is stunningly beautiful! Explorer Roald Amundsen said, “The land looks like a fairytale.” The coldest, windiest, driest, highest, most isolated continent contains 90% of earth’s ice and 70% of its fresh water, regulating global climate and sea levels.

Learn more about Antarctica here.

Preview my book Antarctica here.

View my Antarctica alumni’s work here.

Find out about my 2014 Fly To Antarctica Sail Across The Circle workshop.

As I set sail on my fifth voyage to Antarctica I’m wondering what the light and weather will be like this year.


In 2005 we had crystal clear skies that lit up with sunset color for 4 hours.

In 2007 we had weeks of low hanging clouds and low lying fog.

In 2009 we had high thin clouds that diffused the light with a golden glow.

In 2011 we had rain, sleet, hail, snow – if it was wet it was in the air.

Now, in 2013, I’d love to be surprised with something different. But what would that be? A combination of the intense color of 2005 and the sculptural form of 2007?

Each voyage, I’ve hoped for at least one calm passage across The Drake. They have a phrase to describe this body of water -  “lake or shake”. I’ve only seen the “lake” in the colorlful photographs of Eliot Porter and I’d love to see it with my own eyes and make my own photographs. Though I’d be happy to continue “paying the price” to visit Antarctica, I’ve had enough “shake”, which is one reason we plan to fly to Antarctica in 2014.

Discover our 2014 fly to Antarctica sail south of the circle workshop here.

Every voyage I’ve made to Antarctica has revealed new dimensions in the subject – weather, light, seasonal changes, annual variations, and my growing understanding of the region have all contributed to this.

With so many wonderful places to go, why would you return to the same location more than once?

Let me count the ways.

1    You’ll see more of and learn more about a place.
Increase your understanding of the places you photograph and your photographs will become more interesting.

2    You’ll have an opportunity to get the images you missed.
Try making a short list of the shots you missed when you shoot. Even if you never return this activity will prompt you to be clearer about why you missed the shots and you can take steps towards remedying this in the future. If you do return, you’ll have the beginnings of a working plan that will greatly increase your productivity and success rate.

3    You’ll have an opportunity to refine the images you made.
You may have made images that barely made the cut but would shine if they were reframed or made with different equipment or in different conditions. For this reason I recommend you review not only the images that worked on your previous trip(s) but also the ones that didn’t asking yourself why they didn’t and what you could do differently.

4    You’ll see new things as your vision matures.
Having first found the images that come to you more naturally, you’ll later find yourself challenged to look for other kinds of images, which will stimulate your creativity and increase your visual versatility.

5    You’ll see changes in the place.
Time reveals. Weather, time of day, seasons, and the accumulation of years change a place. They change us too. These changes can become a wellspring for many images.

6    You’ll learn more about yourself.
While it’s true that you can learn more about yourself when you experience new things, it’s equally true that you’ll learn more about yourself when you re-experience them. You’ll find that your relationship with a location will change over time, as you experience more and mature. You’ll see not only how a place has changed but also how you’ve changed – and how the place has contributed to your growth. These types of insights are harder to achieve in new locations. Because the perspective with which you look at thing is different, the types of things you learn are different.

7    You’ll get to spend more time in your favorite places.
Just as you can’t go everywhere, you can’t return to every place. Return to the places that call you. Passion kindles the fires within, which will be visible in your images. Passion energizes and recharges us. A large part of the reason we do the things we do is because we enjoy them.

Unfamiliar locations challenge you to see new things in new ways, familiar locations challenge you to see the same things in new ways.
Just because we see new things doesn’t mean we will see in new ways, in fact the times when we are grappling with so many new variables are often the times when we fall back on our habits. When we see the same things again we are forced to see in new ways and/or deepen the ways we see them.

Even with a lifetime of adventuring, you can’t see it all. Your question is do you want to see a lot or do you want to see deeply? You’ll want to strike a balance between the two, surveying the many opportunities before you and choosing to return to one or a few of the places that call you the most. Exactly what balance you strike at any given moment is up to you.

Learn more in my digital photography and digital printing workshops.

Find out about my next digital photography workshop in Antarctica.


People keep asking Seth Resnick and I why we keep returning to Antarctica.

We’ve made four trips and every trip was different. We visit new locations; there are over 40 locations cruises land at and with each visit we get to visit an average of 12. The ice conditions are always different; one month can make a big difference. Surprisingly, the thing that we’ve found makes the biggest difference is the weather, which affects the light dramatically. We saw riotous colors during four hour long sunsets on our 2005 Peninsula trip and “nights” where the sun only skims the horizon but never truly sets south of the Antarctic circle in 2009. Every time we go, we keep wondering how much more could there be to see and how different could the conditions be and every time we’re surprised that we discover so much more and that locations we know look so different. Each voyage has had an entirely unique character.

The two most sublime landscape experiences I’ve ever had were at Sossusvlei, Namibia and in Antarctica’s The Gullet. The Gullet was the remotest, purest, whitest experience I’ve ever had. It felt like being in a frozen heaven. Quietly cruising on mirror calm waters through the dramatic mountains of Crystal Bay to find the narrow channel through The Gullet (like seeing clouds cascade off high peaks to touch the water and be frozen in place) and through to Margueritte Bay lit up by endless hours of midnight color was one of the most beautiful 24 hours of my life. Many of us didn’t sleep that ‘night’ because we didn’t want to miss anything. We knew while we were there that few people on earth had ever had an experience similar to the one we were having.”

See more images from Antarctica’s The Gullet here.

There are still a few spaces available in our Antarctica 2013 workshop.

Email me at jpc@digitalphotodestinations if you’d like to join us.

 

My new free screensaver features images and facts on Antarctica.

Download it here.

Antarctica is stunningly beautiful! Explorer Roald Amundsen said, “The land looks like a fairytale.” The coldest, windiest, driest, highest, most isolated continent contains 90% of earth’s ice and 70% of its fresh water, regulating global climate and sea levels.

Learn more about Antarctica here.

Preview my book Antarctica here.

View my Antarctica alumni’s work here.

Find out about my 2013 Antarctica workshop in the Wedell Sea.

(This piece first appeared on Adobe Stories. Find other Adobe Stories here.)

Having developed an international reputation for creating altered photographs with ecological concerns, in Antarctica I became interested in creating an editorial (relatively unaltered) body of work to compare and contrast these two modes of perception and expression. In particular, I was interested in seeing which mode of expression could be most effective for environmental advocacy, if this varies with the context they are presented in, and if they can strengthen each other.

A simple project initially, it continues to grow. A single exhibit and book has become multiple exhibits and books, lectures, a website and Antarctic workshop program.

I started using Photoshop 1 as an artist in residence at Kodak’s Center for Creative Imaging. I beta-tested Lightroom 1. I’ve used every version of Photoshop and Lightroom since their initial release. (Lightroom 1 was released during my second voyage to Antarctica.)

Compared to Photoshop’s capabilities, Lightroom’s capabilities are limited. Because the nature of my first Antarctica project was editorial, I was interested in working within stricter limits and Lightroom’s limits fit those. Lightroom also offered the promise of greater organizational capabilities and productivity, which was very useful while handling a high volume of images made on an extended voyage. Lightroom delivered.

Lightroom not only streamlined up my workflow and accelerated my productivity, it also helped me develop my projects conceptually by making it easier to find and organize patterns of thought and create continuities for their presentation. Collecting, comparing, selecting and sequencing images becomes much easier, and this in turn aids more sophisticated storytelling.

Lightroom helps me see my images better. It offers four ways to view your images: Loupe, Compare, Survey and Grid. Moving in and out of these views helps you see your images better both solo and in relationship to each other. Lightroom’s Collections are equally essential for seeing, creating, and refining relationships between images. With Collections I can easily group like images from multiple folders and hard drives, assessing relative strengths and weaknesses, identifying patterns of thought, and creating sequences to advance a story fluidly. Changing how you see your images changes what you see in your images. How you see your images is important. I can think of few things that are as important.

My Antarctica project and Lightroom brought me back to basics. This shift in focus encouraged me to further strengthen both my camera skills and my storytelling practices, and consequently my vision as a whole. This opened new avenues of discovery encouraging me to think about still images even more cinematically.

You can learn more about my Antarctica project – view images in galleries and slideshows, preview books, download screensavers, find facts about the region, read blog entries made live on site, and much more at www.johnpaulcaponigro/antarctica.com.

Sign up for my Antarctica digital photography workshops here.

Sign up for my Antarctica 2013 digital photography workshop by emailing jpc@johnpaulcaponigro.com.

 

[slideshow]

 

Discover fascinating facts about Antarctica.

Furthest south, coldest, windiest, highest, most isolated continent barely begins to describe this exotic region.

Find more Antarctica facts here.

Find out about my Antarctica digital photography workshops here.

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