DeepFreeze! A Photographer's Antarctic Odyssey in the Year 1959

Robert A McCabe, Author
Robert A. McCabe, IPP (www.internationalphotographypublishers.com), $45.00 (152p) ISBN 9780984336401
Reviewed on: 10/11/2010
Release date: 05/01/2010
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In 1959 McCabe (Weekend in Havana) went to Antarctica with a group of scientists, journalists, and officers of the U.S. Navy; his photographs and travelogue from the journey are valuable today not only as a document of the landscape, but also as a snapshot in time: scientists study paper maps, take ice samples, and interact with penguins and seals (forbidden today). McCabe's astounding compositions depict an Antarctic outpost that has since grown much larger, and a ‘50s style that we now call vintage. The beautifully reproduced B&W photographs present a landscape at once stark and gorgeous; endless ice gives way to dramatic mountains captured from both the ground and the sky. In transcripts of McCabe's recordings from the time, the photographer talks of the emptiness, solitude, and silence endured or embraced by some of the residents of the Ross Island base, but what he captures with his camera says it more immediately, and more elegantly. Though there are fascinating details of daily life in a very hostile environment, as well as reflections on the trips of earlier explorers. As climate change results in a shrinking Antarctica, this is a valuable record of what was. (Aug.)
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