Today I’m going to hit two birds with one stone. I have a few pictures from today’s shoot, which actually happened on Friday and which I’m hopefully going to post before the end of the day, but also I’ll use the opportunity to start the work on a project that I had in mind for a while now.
Most of the pictures I take are either landscape / nature or underwater photos (the latter one not here though). You can somewhat expect that, taking into consideration where I currently am, and that Antarctica was my big dream, and my appreciation for Mother Nature and her creations.
Having said all that, however, I did come up with an idea for a project, which I’m starting with this post – environmental portraits of my fellow winterers, at their day to day lives, doing their day to day jobs, which really are anything but ordinary. I think the environment I’m in is a perfect place to practice this and subject to how much patience my fellow winterers have, I’m hoping to learn a lot on this portrait photography journey.
When I think about an Environmental Portrait, I imagine a picture of a person in their natural environment, at work, doing what they do. This is the difference between a studio portrait, or a neutral background portrait, or “mug shots” as some people call them.
This type of work, to me, has a number of challenges:
- Typically these are shot on location (outdoor or indoors), where lighting conditions are not perfect. Some work places are simply not made for photography, but you have to make do with what you have – the idea is to show your subject in their environment as it is.
- When shot outside, you still have to deal with the cold, but also you’re trying to be conscious that it’s not just yourself getting cold, your subject is getting cold too and they probably feel it more, as they effectively not doing a whole lot while you’re busy setting up the scene or the lights, or anything else
- Generally shooting people is not something I’m very comfortable with. They put their trust in you as their photographer, they somewhat expect good results, pictures of themselves that they will like and it’s your job as a photographer to guide them to do things that make the picture more interesting and that show them in a nice way. This kind of interaction with people is not something I’m used to, so it’s an added difficulty.
Also known as the Met Babe, for historical reasons. Often enough the position is filled by a girl and I suppose the first time a girl filled that role she was called the Met Babe, and the unofficial title stuck, regardless of the gender of the actual Met person.
Our Met Babe, Richard, is the subject of my first environment portrait. It’s a bit of a happy accident, as there was a requirement to get a portrait of the Met person at their work for a presentation that someone in BAS is doing, but I thought I’d use the opportunity and kick off my project. I also find it very fitting, as Richard is part of the Team Beaker (i.e. the Science Team, which I’m also a member of), and the Meteorology is one of the most important long term study here at Halley.
So without further ado, please enjoy my first series of pictures for the environmental portraits of Halley Winterers.