This is the first in what I hope will be a slew of posts marrying three things I love: travel, photography, and … crosswords! Every Wednesday, I will post on my free crossword site, JeffsPuzzles.com, a puzzle inspired by a photo or photos from a place I’ve visited. I’ll also make a post here with a link to the puzzle and some background on the place and the photo(s).
Here’s a link to the related crossword.
My brother and I traveled to Antarctica in February 2022. I posted about the trip extensively at that time (search that date or click on the “Antarctica” category) and even constructed a penguin-themed crossword in celebration of the trip.
I’m leading off this series with Antarctica because it’s the most evocative place I’ve ever visited: every animal, ice berg, and glacier seems freighted with meaning and connections. (All pictures were taken with a Nikon Z6 camera with either a 24-200 mm or a 200-500 mm lens unless otherwise noted. I generally shoot in aperture mode and do very little post-processing other than cropping.)
A solitary penguin, bent like an old man, becomes a monk contemplating life’s mysteries (like, who decided leopard seals were a good thing?).
Icebergs are the Rorschach inkblots of the sea. One seems to have sprouted a small house; another resembles a sinking ship; a third is a teapot or perhaps a swan.
The sunlight and shadows reveal faces in the mountains and heavenly auras.
Tips and Equipment. The cold weather rapidly drains camera batteries, so bring an extra battery if you have one. Lighting can be a challenge, shifting from piercing sunshine to leaden overcast and back in moments, and the snow can be so bright that the subject turns out too dark. I found myself taking the same shot multiple times with varying exposure compensations. (It would have been easier to figure out “bracketing,” but I was too lazy.) I brought two lenses with me – 24-200 mm and 200-500 mm. Unlike several other photographers on the trip, I barely used the longer lens.