Ron Clifford – Antarctica

Ron Clifford recently returned from a 5 week trip to Antarctica and comes back to jpeg2RAW to share his amazing adventure and incredible images.  Truly a trip of a lifetime!

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Ron Clifford

(from Ron’s website – go here for his write-up.

Ron Clifford
Ron CliffordPhotographer, Mentor, Coach and Teacher
I am an artist, coach, and creative mentor with a unique gift to help unlock the creative ninja that lives inside every person. You could say I really do is explore my world through the connections my camera helps me create – and to help others overcome roadblocks and see blind spots along their own creative journey. I have the best job in the whole world. I believe we only truly reach our potential when we learn to help others. To lift each other up. We were made for community and family and in a certain way, that’s what I do. I build community and strengthen bonds through the experience of photography. Nothing can compare to getting involved in building up another person’s real life.

Show Notes:

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  • Intro Questions:

    • For those that didn’t see the show the last time you were on and don’t know Ron Clifford, tell us about about Ron.

      • A creative mentor.  My camera helps create connections with other creative people.  A full time photographer and instructor working with the Arcanum.

 

  • Interview

    • How long have you been planning this trip?

      • Created a vision board of locations to go and the very next day I was approached about going to Antarctica.

    • Vision Board

      • A visual representation of things that I want to do…gives me clarity for the things I would like to accomplish

    • What kind of time commitment is required for a trip like this (ie, how much vacation time)?

      • Last trip was approximately five weeks broken into two separate trips.  The average trip is around 10-12 days including travel.  The photography trips are in the range of 18 days.

    • Can you give me a general idea of the cost?

      • Went as a paid staff as I was invited

      • Cost is $5,000 to $20,000 for the trip

    • Did you go with a tour company?

      • Went on a Russian Science vessel.  Have the ability to go to shore since the ship is small enough.  Only 100 people at a time is allowed.

    • What did you pack for the trip?  Clothing, photo gear, etc?

      • Layers and waterproof clothing, full bib pants with a gore tex shell

      • Extra pair of gloves…switch out when a pair gets wet

      • Sunglasses…a must have

      • MOST IMPORTANT – Sunscreen…very important.  There is a hole in the ozone over the antarctic and you will burn within 10-15 minutes

    • Did you bring any backup gear (ie, 2nd camera, lens)?

      • There was a couple on board that rented camera gear…one of the cameras broke down on the second day…thankfully they had a spare camera. 

      • Rent a lens…100-400 or 80-200 lens.  Need to have a good zoom lens to crop in close on the wildlife. 

      • A good wide-angle lens on a second camera

      • Don’t recommend changing lenses out in the open with all the moisture.

      • Special packing for camera to protect from salt water? Camera bag?

      • Vanguard – wanted to test their tripods.  They also forwarded a backpack (Skyborne 49) which held out extremely well

    • Was everyone on the trip a photographer?

      • Most of the people were photographers, however, there were two grandkids of the Shackleton expedition for a memorial visit

    • Did you go through Drake’s Passage?

      • The roughest sea you will find…crosses with three separate oceans

    • What was the light like there?

      • Very tricky…the lighting conditions change very quickly.  If the light is wrong just wait a couple of minutes and it will change

    • Did you bring and use any lens filters?

      • No filters used…except maybe a neutral density filter

      • Do not use a polarizer filter..the skies will be black

    • Where did you sleep?

      • Must stay on the boat…not allowed to stay on land overnight.  At night you would have dinner and presentations. 

    • How did you handle seasickness, I hear the seas can be very rough?

      • First time I was seasick.  If there is going to be rough seas and the onboard doctor recommends you wear a patch…listen to the doctor

    • Did you have any condensation problems?

      • Condensation is really bad.  Always have a microfiber towel over the camera and lens and use to dry off the equipment

    • How close could you get to the animals?

      • Generally a 5 meter or more rule for passengers to approach an animal, however, if you are still and they approach you are allowed.  The wildlife has no fear of humans…they know no better.

    • Did you bring a laptop?

      • Yes and backup every day

    • What was the power situation for recharging your gear?

      • European power, ensure you have a converter.  Ample power on the ship to charge your equipment                                                                        

    • Did you have internet or a cell signal?

      • No connection while out on location

      • Do receive  a satellite connection for rare text messages

 

  • Wrap Up:

    • Was the trip worth all the cost, time and travel?

      • Everyone I spoke with would say that every dollar spent was worth it.

Images displayed during the show.

Discuss the show in our forums! – Forum Post

Album for this episodes can be found here – Ron Clifford – Antarctica

Albums from previous episodes can be found here – Podcast Images

YouTuibe video which I like and gives an idea of what it’s like to travel with One World Expeditions to Antarctica.

Two for the Road – YouTube Antarctica Playlist

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