The Shape of Ice

I’m very belated in sharing about my trip to Antarctica (which I took last year…in January), but I realize that I’m right on time in keeping with one of my New Year’s resolutions from 2018 which is to return to Antarctica. I’m pleased to share that in November of 2019 I’ll be the National Geographic Expert on the Antarctica, South Georgia, and the Falklands itinerary with National Geographic/Lindblad Expeditions.

Antarctica is one of those places that defies description and imagery. It is the most immense and remote place I’ve ever experienced. To get there you have to hopscotch down the South American continent all the way to the end of the world, the town of Ushuaia, Argentina. From there you board a ship which must cross the (occasionally dreaded) Drake Passage. After a day and change of navigation, depending on your fortunes with the crossing, you begin to see ice and then eventually land.

To imagine the Antarctic islands and continent, envision the majesty of an Alaskan mountain range, strip it of trees and other vegetation, pepper in some penguin colonies, and layer it with a thick frosting of glaciers and snow. What threw my mind for a loop was realizing that without trees and only an occasional man-made structure for reference, getting a sense of scale was nearly impossible. What I could sense, and what remains elusive from truly explaining to someone who has never been, is that everything around me was immense, remote, and beautiful.

I surprised myself with how charmed I was by penguins. It was pure entertainment to watch them tending their adorable chicks on rocky nests or scurrying back and forth from fishing duties. I loved watching the ruckus caused by thieving penguins, the lazy (or ingenious!) penguins who steal rocks from other nests rather than trudging down to the shoreline to fetch their own.

But what I was most enchanted with was the ice. I loved the patterns along the top of tidal glaciers, the artistry in icebergs being sculpted by waves and time, and the sheer awe inspired by massive tabular icebergs floating in an open ocean. I still daydream about the beautiful shapes of ice that I’m missing out on thousands of miles away at the end of the earth.

But now I know I’ll be back. Join me November 19th through December 12th, 2019, and experience the beauty of ice in Antarctica and unparalleled wildlife encounters in South Georgia.

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Guests stand on the bow of the National Geographic Explorer as the ship navigates through sheets of sea ice in the beautiful landscape of Crystal Sound.

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Have you ever peered into the heart of an iceberg? I’d paint my world in this blue if it could be reproduced from a can.

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The face of a tidal glacier looks like a castle made of ice in Paradise Bay.

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Two inflatable boats filled with guests are dwarfed by the immense icy waters.

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A favorite experience was “parking” the National Geographic Explorer in fast ice to have a stroll around Crystal Sound.

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Adelie penguins gather on the shoreline of Brown Bluff before diving into icy waters which harbor their predator, the leopard seal.

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During my January visit, there were plenty of chicks nuzzling underneath penguin parents in all of the colonies we visited.

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Three gentoo penguins walk in a row up a snow-covered hill with the National Geographic Explorer in the background.

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A pod of killer whales swim in the ice-filled waters of Cape Green.

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We were able to visit a few bases and historic sites, but my favorite was Historic British Base W on Detaille Island, which remains frozen in time since being abandoned in the 1950s.

To find out more about the Antarctica, South Georgia, and the Falklands itinerary, click here. To see more of my images from Antarctica, visit this gallery.

Windy, Wonderful Wellington

New Zealand is known for its stunningly beautiful landscapes and adventure sports, but I had no idea that it also boasts an urban gem in the capital city of Wellington.

Welly, as locals call it, made me feel right at home. Maybe it was the buzzing coffee culture where I could get a flight of flat whites at the Flight Coffee Hangar? Perhaps it was the plethora of funky second-hand shops selling vintage and retro treasures? Or it was the inviting waterfront that drew me like a moth to a flame to enjoy the sweeping views and breezes, outdoor artwork, museums, and farmer’s markets?

Whatever it was, Wellington has it. I hope these outtakes from my assignment with Nat Geo Travel and Tourism New Zealand give you a taste of Wonderful Welly.

Wellington, New Zealand by Krista Rossow

The Laundry Bar on Wellington’s famous Cuba Street hits the right chord with its funky New Orleans vibe and Southern-inspired menu.

Wellington, New Zealand by Krista Rossow

Stretch your legs from central Wellington to the Aro Valley where an old garage is the now the new home of a popular brewery, the Garage Project.

Wellington, New Zealand by Krista Rossow

Wellington has embraced the Cuban theme, which originated from a settler ship named “Cuba” in the 1840s and not with the country. Regardless of the origin, you’ll see nods to Cuba the country throughout the city, including at Fidel’s Cafe on (you guessed it) Cuba Street.

Wellington, New Zealand by Krista Rossow

Who needs a wine or beer flight when you can get a different sort of buzz with a flat white flight? I was a skeptic until I sampled the espresso at Flight Coffee’s Hangar and was fueled up for the entire day picking up on notes of toffee or orange.

Wellington, New Zealand by Krista Rossow

Another nod to Cuba, Havana Coffee Works is home to a roastery and a coffee shop. Here master roaster Joe Stoddart soaks in the toasted aroma of roasting beans.

Wellington, New Zealand by Krista Rossow

Floriditas is a bright and airy eatery on Cuba Street.

Wellington, New Zealand by Krista Rossow

It is hard not to drool at Sheperd, a new restaurant in the Hannahs Factory Laneway, when a colorful bowl of radish, carrot, and beetroot salad greets you on the table.

Wellington, New Zealand by Krista Rossow

I loved wandering down the charming laneways like Eva Street in the Te Aro neighborhood of downtown Wellington.

Wellington, New Zealand by Krista Rossow

A Wellington icon is the Bucket Fountain kinetic sculpture on the downtown Cuba Street pedestrian mall.

Wellington, New Zealand by Krista Rossow

A trip to Welly isn’t complete without a ride on the famous cable car which carries visitors up to the beautiful, rolling grounds of the Wellington Botanic Gardens.

Wellington, New Zealand by Krista Rossow

Passersby can’t seem to resist posing with the waterfront sculpture called, “Solace of the Wind.”

Wellington, New Zealand by Krista Rossow

In a city more famous for its wind and rain, the sunshine brings out people in droves to the Wellington waterfront. The Karaka Cafe provides seating, mats, and even hats to sun seekers.

Wellington, New Zealand by Krista Rossow

A wander along the waterfront will take visitors by text sculptures with words from New Zealand writers on the Wellington Writers Walk.

Wellington, New Zealand by Krista Rossow

Actor/director Bryce Dallas Howard explores the Harbourside Market with Ray Letoa from Wellington’s Roxy Cinema. To learn more about Wellington, including a video featuring Bryce and more photos of the city from me, click here.

If you’re keen for more New Zealand inspiration, check out Nat Geo Travel’s Ultimate New Zealand Experience website. To license images, please visit my Photoshelter gallery.

Woodstock on the Rise

Dramatic view from the top of the Old Biscuit Mill of the surrounding neighborhood of Woodstock and the mountains of Cape Town at sunset.

Dramatic view from the top of the Old Biscuit Mill of the surrounding neighborhood of Woodstock and the mountains of Cape Town at sunset.

One of the perks of working on assignment for a travel magazine is getting to explore such wonderful places. I recently had two of my images published in the latest National Geographic Traveler magazine for a small article about the Woodstock neighborhood of Cape Town, but there were many other images made that have yet to see the light of day. Take a peek at the gallery of outtakes below from my time exploring this neighborhood home to artists and innovators, great food, and fabulous design.

And if you’ve missed my ravings about how wonderful Cape Town is, check out my travel blog entries including a photo gallery here, more delicious food here, my obsession with the Cape Floral Kingdom, and the funky neighborhood that I briefly called home.

It’s Bawlmer, Hon!

A young girl sports a beehive hairdo complete with pipe-cleaner bees.

A young girl sports a beehive hairdo complete with pipe-cleaner bees.

Hon Fest is happening in Baltimore’s Hampden neighborhood right now! Bawlmer likes to call their working-class ladies “hons,” a term of endearment short for honey, and Hon Fest is a great local festival that honors these sassy ladies! Come for the people watching and stay for getting hair teased and hair-sprayed to defy gravity!

This year I couldn’t get my beehive in ship-shape to get up to Bawlmer, so I pulled a few shots from the archives in honor of the cat-eyed, leopard print wearin’ ladies that are surely busy struttin’ their stuff on 36th Street right now!

From the Archives: Spring Dreams

A photograph taken before the Washington National Cathedral was damaged by an earthquake show spring blooms framing a fog-enshrouded tower.

A photograph taken in 2009 (before the Washington National Cathedral was damaged by an earthquake) shows spring blooms framing a fog-enshrouded tower.

I’m busy backing up my photo archives and I came across this shot of the Washington National Cathedral from 2009. Unfortunately the tower is currently covered in scaffolding while repairs are underway to fix damage from the 2011 earthquake, but I love the way the fog made the cathedral look early that spring morning. Although the cherry blossoms get so much attention in Washington DC, there are blooming bushes and trees all over the city that make for lovely springtime photographs. I don’t know if these particular trees are in bloom yet this year, but here is to hoping the city will be bursting with color soon!

Everywhere Else It’s Just Tuesday

Everywhere else today is just Tuesday, but here in New Orleans it is Mardi Gras.  I’ve been out making new images this lovely day, but here is a look back on a few of my favorite images from Mardi Gras past.  Happy Mardi Gras!

Music and Mardi Gras go hand in hand, so marching with the band is the best way to experience the St. Anne's parade on Fat Tuesday.  Starting from the Bywater neighborhood, bedazzled, costumed throngs dance to the beat as the parade meanders into the Marigny clogging up Frenchman street with revelry before tumbling into the French Quarter and dissipating into the streets.

Music and Mardi Gras go hand in hand, so marching with the band is the best way to experience the St. Anne’s parade on Fat Tuesday. Starting from the Bywater neighborhood, bedazzled, costumed throngs dance to the beat as the parade meanders into the Marigny clogging up Frenchman street with revelry before tumbling into the French Quarter and dissipating into the streets.

The Pussyfooters is a marching club of bubble-gum bedecked ladies who dance and perform in multiple parades during Mardi Gras season.  I don't know how they do it, but I do know there is a port-a-potty involved and it looks like oodles of fun.

The Pussyfooters is a marching club of bubble-gum bedecked ladies who dance and perform in multiple parades during Mardi Gras season. I don’t know how they do it, but I do know there is a port-a-potty involved and it looks like oodles of fun.

Policemen keep the crowds off of the parade route to make way for the annual Bacchusaurus float from the Krewe of Bacchus during their annual meander through Uptown.  Streets become littered with uncaught beads and empty plastic sacks that held precious clutches of beads.  At these parades you could almost stand still on the sidelines and still get covered in beads without much effort at all.  Showing skin is certainly taboo during these family affairs.  Children sit in makeshift benches affixed to the tops of ladders that families roll down to the parade route to establish a good spot to be able to collect beads.  "Throw me something, mister!" is the call.

Policemen keep the crowds off of the parade route to make way for the annual Bacchusaurus float from the Krewe of Bacchus during their annual meander through Uptown. Streets become littered with uncaught beads and empty plastic sacks that held precious clutches of beads. At these parades you could almost stand still on the sidelines and still get covered in beads without much effort at all. Showing skin is certainly taboo during these family affairs. Children sit in makeshift benches affixed to the tops of ladders that families roll down to the parade route to establish a good spot to be able to collect beads. “Throw me something, mister!” is the call.

Men dressed as Skeletons take a break at the Backstreet Cultural Museum in the Treme neighborhood on Mardi Gras day.  Early on Mardi Gras morning we'd pile into our friend Kristian's suburban and troll the streets looking for the Skeletons in action, making a racket and bringing the city to life, threatening, "You next!"  I still have yet to see them in action.

Men dressed as Skeletons take a break at the Backstreet Cultural Museum in the Treme neighborhood on Mardi Gras day. Early on Mardi Gras morning we’d pile into our friend Kristian’s suburban and troll the streets looking for the Skeletons in action, making a racket and bringing the city to life, threatening, “You next!” I still have yet to see them in action.

This is the single frame I took at the Ernie K-Doe Mother-in-Law Lounge on Mardi Gras morning 2009.  My merry band arrived at the bar to have an early morning drink with Miss Antoinette before the day got into full swing, only to be greeted with the sad news of her passing.  At the time I didn't quite understand the significant of Antoinette K-Doe, the widow of Ernie K-Doe, the lounge's namesake who still  lived on at the lounge as a life-size, dressed-to-the-nines mannequin in the lounge.  As we left the lounge in a somber mood it became clear what a presence Miss Antoinette was in the city as the local radio station, WWOZ, broadcast the news of her passing.  I can't say that I ever met her, but I won't ever forget that morning.

This is the single frame I took at the Ernie K-Doe Mother-in-Law Lounge on Mardi Gras morning 2009. My merry band arrived at the bar to have an early morning drink with Miss Antoinette before the day got into full swing, only to be greeted with the sad news of her passing. At the time I didn’t quite understand the significant of Antoinette K-Doe, the widow of Ernie K-Doe, the lounge’s namesake who still lived on at the lounge as a life-size, dressed-to-the-nines mannequin in the lounge. As we left the lounge in a somber mood it became clear what a presence Miss Antoinette was in the city as the local radio station, WWOZ, broadcast the news of her passing. I can’t say that I ever met her, but I won’t ever forget that morning.

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Taking the Leap: Welcome to Bloglandia

Taking the Leap

Self-portrait playing in the sand dunes on the Oregon Coast

I’ve taken the leap into Bloglandia! Welcome to my Krista Rossow Photography blog where you can keep up to date on work-in-progress, published stories, and other news. As I greet you in this new virtual home, I thought it only appropriate to start with a self-portrait taken on a beautiful summer day in my home state of Oregon.