One of my most educational experiences in Antarctica was shooting side by side next to JP (John Paul Caponigro). We are cruising along and the captain announces that there is an interesting iceberg coming up on Port Side. Instantly the photographers are armed and ready and lined up along the rail for the assault. This kind of shooting can be aggravating or it can be a most enjoyable experience depending on how you handle it. I am about 4 inches from JP on one side and Jeff Schewe on the other. I look out at this iceberg and instantly said to myself that the only image that will work is with a 300mm and a 2x converter. JP whips out his 28mm and I stopped and think HUH. No way can you shoot this blip on the horizon with a 28mm. In fact I wished I had my 800mm. We both have the same reaction.” What are you seeing?” We instinctively trade cameras and we both burst out into laughter. JP is shooting this horizontal line with a little blip ( and it is amazing) and I am isolating just the side of this iceberg with great light. Side by side with 4 inches between us and you would never know we were even on the same boat.
This experience repeated itself multiple times on all three of our trips. Here I am with my 300 and JP is next to me with a 28mm and we are shooting the same thing. The biggest irony was several times I would think about how JP would shoot and I would show up on deck with a 14mm and JP would show up with a 300mm. We had such an influence on each other and to this day every time I pull out my wide angle lens I think about JP.
As visual artists we all see the world differently. Sharing those experiences can be truly educational and enlightening.
Read JP’s version here
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