'There's just something magical': Island photographer back from Antarctic trip

Talk about going from one extreme to the other.

P.E.I. photographer Dave Brosha got his start taking photos in the Arctic, when he was living in Resolute Bay.

But now, he's just returned from another cold spot, quite literally the polar opposite.

He was asked to be the official photographer on a voyage to the Antarctic.

"Out of the blue about nine or ten months ago, I got an email from an organization called One Ocean Expeditions out of British Columbia, kind of a magic email," he said on Island Morning. "'Do you want to go to Antarctica, come down with us to be our photographer?' So yeah, pretty cool email to receive as a photographer."

It made for a lengthy and not very luxurious assignment, starting off from Argentina.

"You hop on a boat, it's a big research vessel, and you're going down, the commitment was six weeks," said Brosha. "You live on board the ship. We spent some nights camping ashore, but basically you're in a little cabin for six straight weeks."

He joined what he described as an eclectic group, everyone from whale  researchers to historians to a wide variety of scientists. It was his job to capture the moments.

"They gave me pretty free rein," he said. "It was basically, 'Come down, take photographs, document the trip on behalf of all of us, go create images that you're happy with, and if you're kind enough...share your journey with us.' On our way back to Argentina, I gave a number of slide shows and stuff like that."

And oh, what a show it was.

"We went to a place called Salisbury Plain which was 500,000 penguins in one location, and you can't even imagine what that looks like to the human eye," he said. "It was just penguins as far as the eye could see. Basically forever. 500,000 penguins. Seeing that for the first time was really special."

But that wasn't even his top experience.

"I think my most incredible moments, most special moments were with the whales," said Brosha. "We had some really incredible, close-up encounters with whales...they'd come right up to your Zodiac boats, the smaller boats that we'd take off the big ship. There's just something magical about seeing those massive beasts right next to you, staring at you."

In six weeks, he amassed a collection of 24,000 photographs, which he has now whittled down to 1,000 favourites.

He's sharing them with the rest of the team, and at some point hopes to publish them as a book.

There's an even bigger job to take care of before that.

"My first stop this week is I'm giving a talk to my son's Grade 4 class," Brosha said. "That's priority number one, to go in and show them the world of penguins."

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