Well… Antarctica seems such a long time ago now and seems to be fading in my memory; but still such a strong part of me and my experience…..and remains such a catalyst for me asking myself the question… “What part of me is…. ??”
It’s a long story (which I will condense) as to why no photographs of Antarctica have yet been posted. Thank you to all those who have enquired and been patient in looking forward to seeing my photographs. I would like to share just one part of this story in relation to my images of Antarctica.
The beginning of the long story is that I was not prepared adequately with my storage and backup hardware before I left. Bad move. I should have known better.
The middle of the story was that I pressed “recommended”; to a pop up screen on my PC which asked whether I wanted ‘it’ (being the all knowing computer!) to restore fragmented files (created on my Mac). Consequently this action brought about the destruction of all my files on an external double raided drive. After coming to terms with losing all my files and coming to a place of recognising that my experience in Antarctica was what my journey was about; unbeknownst to me our amazing son Lawrence, researched and found a Rescue programme called PhotoRec which scrambled even more all the files and then somehow over three weeks of number crunching put them together into single images, and managed to rescue about 50% of my photographs. I was relieved but that was shortlived and found myself in another place where the rescued files although in DNG format, were not being recognised by Photoshop. I was confronted again, but this time being able to see thumbnails and not able to work on images and save them in Photoshop. This time it was easier to deal with because I connected once again with my experience of being there, and began exploring perhaps other ways of expressing my experience without using my photographs.
The end of this part of the story derives itself from recognising that I never know when knowledge gained will be drawn upon. About 8 years ago I attended a Digital workshop with Les Walkling and there was a whole morning lecture on file formats. For some reason when I was staring at thumbnails of Antarctica which could not be opened nor saved within Photoshop – I had an epiphany. I could see Les Walking standing in front of me explaining about Open Source file formats. I thought if I opened them in ACR to the window of edits prior to opening in Photoshop….but SAVED them in the ACR window as a DNG and not actually open them into Photoshop… they would be saved in a DNG format that Photoshop could read; even though they weren’t opened. It worked!!! I now had some rescued images from Antarctica that I can see… open …. and save!!! So… this week I have begun to open folders and actually look at some of my photographs!!!
I know I must fill in the void left by the 50% of photographs which were lost; in other ways. I’m not sure yet how that will evolve. The last evening of our Group with John Paul Caponigro and Seth Resnick, we each shared a small selection of images. Throughout my time in Antarctica I was so moved and captivated and engulfed in the magic of this space in Antarctica, that I didn’t spend time going through my day’s photographs; so for this presentation which I have included below; I scrambled for a few, which illuminated for me the whispers I heard… and as I look through my rescued images, I know these whispers will be the catalyst for what I know will be what fills that void of the 50% of photographs I have lost.
These whispers were carried on the snow; and cold wind; and blue glassed icebergs; and rugged cliffs; and squawks of penguins; and splashes from whales; and in the silence and dark of the night; and on the roll of the ocean. These whispers kept asking me the same question. I kept hearing…”What part of me is…??”. I kept feeling the wind and asked myself – “What part of me is ..moving invisibly?” I saw the shiny surface of the icebergs and asked myself – “What part of me is …smooth?” I saw the rugged landscape and I asked myself – “What part of me is …exposed?” I heard the whisper when I looked across the vast expanse of ocean.. “What part of me is ….open; and expansive?”
These whispers continue as I look at my rescued photographs. I want to explore how I can connect with and express the answer to the question I hear whispered to me when I see some of my photographs and connect deeply with my experience in Antarctica. Once again I recognise that through my photography it is an avenue for me to learn about myself through the opportunity for me to experience and connect deeply within….as I keep hearing whispered; “What part of me is…???”