Joe Cornish – “Antarctica Reflections”
The Photography Show Talk: Saturday 3-3.45pm
Hidden from sight at the bottom of the world lies a huge continent, still largely undiscovered. Its coastal fringes are home to the occasional scientific base, and millions of penguins; but its vast interior expanses are empty, of people and most recognisable life forms. It is costly to visit, and those that do will only see a microscopic fragment of what is there. Indeed, the majority who visit Antarctica will not even reach the Antarctic Circle! Yet a journey here can be life-changing, such is the impact of the scenery and wildlife that may be encountered. I have been fortunate enough to have visited three times, and during the last trip our route took us via South Georgia as well. The best way to imagine South Georgia is to think of a chunk of the steepest and most precipitous Andean peaks partly-drowned in the middle of the Southern Ocean.
Photographically there are many difficulties to photographing these amazing wilderness locations. But the practical and technical aspects pale by comparison with the aesthetic challenge, to convey scale, wildness and unfamiliarity. What about a magnificent mountain range at sunrise which just happens to have half a million king penguins cluttering up the foreground? Or a glacier face, in which humpback whales are spy-hopping, and occasionally bubble-net feeding nearby? Or a gigantic iceberg which is in turn dwarfed by a mountainous cliff-face looming through the mist beyond? Such experiences are so outlandish, and so elusive, that making photographs here may never be able to do them justice. Indeed, for much of the time it is better to simply to put the camera down, to stop and to simply absorb the wonder and the beauty of it. I guess that is what the talk is really about!
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Joe Cornish Biography
Joe Cornish is one of the most influential landscape photographers of his generation. Also a prolific printer, writer, thinker, workshop leader and mentor he has been a judge of Wildlife Photographer of the Year and regular host of the Natural History Museum’s Understanding Photography seminars.