My Floating Home by Tim Watters in Ross Sea, Antarctica

As a photographer for the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, I’ve spent a large amount of my time over the last two years surrounded by icebergs and whales whilst sailing around Antarctica aboard an aging 59 meter ship named “The Steve Irwin.” Isolated for months on end from the rest of the world alongside 40 comrades, Antarctica has shown its beauty, wilderness, and moodiness to me in the most remarkable of ways.

Name:Tim Watters
Occupation:

Photographer and film maker

Preoccupation:

Assisting Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) with media and communications in order to help spread their messages as far and as wide as possible.

Tell us about Antarctica:

Antarctica is a place that is hard to describe but impossible to forget. Its wilderness, isolation, and unpredictability remind you of just how small you are and will demand a respect of nature and its force within you. It has served as a teacher, a muse, and an inspiration to me and this is a feeling often found within those lucky enough to have visited the continent.

A perfect day?

Waking up to a cold, crisp day surrounded by icebergs of all shapes and sizes as whales and leopard seals swim past you, doing what they’ve done for millennia, undisturbed and unaware of the chaos and noise of the world several thousands of kilometers north.

What is the best thing about Antarctica?

Never before have I been surrounded by such beauty as what an iceberg can offer. After breaking off from an ice shelf, these cathedrals of ice and snow sail free, changing shape, form and colour right before your eyes. Marine life leaps and jumps at you, curious as to just what the big piece of steel floating through their peaceful kingdom is. Antarctica has some of the most extreme and unpredictable weather patterns imaginable. It is truly a unique and fascinating place for those who hold nature and wilderness in regard, and the peacefulness granted by its isolation is hard to replicate anywhere else on Earth.

What is the worst?

The increasing exploitation of Antarctica’s life and land is an issue that will ultimately affect us all; indeed, it is the reason as to why I first ventured there. My work has focused on documenting and preventing the illegal whaling operations of the Japanese Government, but there are plenty of other issues there too, such as the illegal fishing of Patagonian Toothfish, the exploitation of Antarctic Fisheries, and the increased interest of various Governments into natural resource extraction on the continent itself. My hope is that we come to our senses soon and agree to leave Antarctic as it is: a place of true wilderness.

What would be surprising about Antarctica to an outsider?

The sheer size and beauty of icebergs is something that is impossible to accurately describe. Often, terms such as ‘it’s the size of three Manhattans!’ are used to encourage an understanding, but I find such examples fall short of getting anywhere near the feeling of staring up at floating island of blues, whites, and greens. That the majority of their structure is underwater is too hard to fully comprehend.

If Antarctica was a person or character who would it be?

If Antarctica was a person that you knew of, you would only know a little about them. This person would be exciting, inspiring, wild and somewhat magical, but you would only ever know them on the surface as their true personality is kept hidden, as well as their thoughts. You would want to know this person more, but they would always be distant, somewhat cut off from society, and busy with their own secret business that you dream of knowing more about.

Who are three of your favorite artists?

In the theme of Antarctica, I’ll share with you my three favourite artist of choice to listen to amongst icebergs. Explosions in the Sky, Four Tet, and (as some of you may be able to predict) Sigur Ros.

timwatters.net

Comments
  • Kim Diaz

    Tim Watters is a phenomenal photographer! He captures the true essence of his subject and his landscape photographs are absolutely breathtaking! Thank you Tim for finding the beauty in the world~

    • Jesse

      Thanks for the kind message Kim! Totally agree with you about the awesomeness of Tim’s photos.

      • Kim Diaz

        I purchased 2 ship photos and 2 seal and sea turtle photos. I LOVE them! He’s awesome!

  • Olav Jost

    Making photoes you have to understand WHAT it is you wanna catch. It was an honour to sail with Tim these cold waters, knowing that we saved so many of theses beautiful species in the cold.

local_lens_icons

Name:Tim Watters

City:The Steve Irwin

Favorite place to eat:

The Steve’s Mess, in which incredibly passionate and talented cooks serve us the most delicious vegan meals you could imagine, three times a day, every day for over four months.

Favorite place to drink:

“Mawsons Cafe” – a little corner of the ship that us coffee drinkers created, stocked with all the best beans we could get our hands on before setting sail.

Favorite shop:

There’s not many shops down South, but every now and then you might luck out and find a new T-shirt or Beanie in the Steve’s free locker.

Local Tip:

Bring thick socks and gloves.

Must Do:

If you’re in for an adventure, then do your best at preventing an illegal activity from taking place in order to protect Antarctica from turning out like a lot of other places of wilderness and beauty further North. If you’re wanting to relax, then check out the locals (penguins and whales) and enjoy the local sights (icebergs).