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Saskia Coulson & Colin Tennant: Two Photographers Capturing Nature in Antarctica

Jul 8, 2021

Saskia Coulson & Colin Tennant

Season 2 Episode 10

Photography is all about capturing the moment. From events, to landscape to scenery, wildlife and more, a photographer's goal is to always tell a story through still and moving images. 

This is our 10th and final episode of season 2 on Design Atlas, and to celebrate, we’re going to take you somewhere extremely cold - and I mean really cold - and that location my friends is Antarctica. Meeting up with two professional photographers, we’ll be exploring what it’s really like to go on an expedition to one of the most sparsely populated regions of the world. Well, maybe not if you’re a penguin, but you won’t find many other humans down there. Antarctica, being the fifth largest continent of the world, is almost entirely covered in ice. In fact, only about 0.4% of the rocks have ever been exposed and studied due to the massive ice sheets covering the region.

Given the distance and remoteness, Antarctica is an untouched natural paradise for photographers. In today’s episode we’ll meet with award-winning photographers Saskia Coulson and Colin Tennant. Residing in Scotland, they’ve been to Antarctica 12 times, and each time they go they’re there for at least one third of the year. We’ll learn about the equipment they use, the precautions they need to take, and challenges they face to capture the most captivating imagery, always keeping in mind the story they are trying to tell. 

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Megan Luedke

You are listening to Design Atlas Season two.



Jens Bringsjord

Hi there. Before we get the show started, we wanted to let you know that some of the sound effects you'll hear in this episode came from Saskia and Colin's expeditions to Antarctica. We really appreciate them letting us use the sounds they recorded to enrich your listening experience.



Jens Bringsjord

Photography is all about capturing the moment from events, landscape, scenery, wildlife and more. A photographer's goal is to always tell a story through snow and to the images.



Megan Luedke

This is our 10th and final episode of Season two on Design Atlas. And to celebrate, I'm going to take you somewhere extremely cold. And I mean really cold. And that location, my friends, is Antarctica.



Jens Bringsjord

Meeting up with two professional photographers will be exploring what it's really like to go on an expedition to one of the most sparsely populated regions of the world. Maybe not if you're a penguin, but you won't find many other humans down there.



Jens Bringsjord

Antarctica, being the fifth largest continent of the world, is almost entirely covered in ice. In fact, only about 0.4% of the rocks have ever been exposed and studied due to the massive ice sheets covering the region. Given the distance and remoteness, Antarctica is an untouched natural paradise for photographers.



Jens Bringsjord

In today's episode will meet with award winning photographers, Tucker Carlson and Colin Tennant residing in Scotland. They've been to Antarctica numerous times and each time they make them journey they're there for at least one third of the year.



Megan Luedke

We'll learn about the equipment they use, the precautions they need to take, and the challenges they face to capture the most captivating imagery. Always keeping in mind, the story they're trying to tell.



Jens Bringsjord

So, without further ado, let's board our ship to Antarctica and meet up with Saskia Carlson in Poland to oh.



Saskia Coulson

And you just see penguins, porpoise and in the water. It's like the coolest thing ever. You're like Norway. Like, I don't ever see that anywhere else in the world.



Saskia Coulson

I'm Saskia Coulson



Colin Tennant

I'm Colin Tennant



Saskia Coulson

We are an award-winning artist partnership. You develop projects through the lens-based practice, and we combine genres of documentary and art.



Colin Tennant

We create artistic documentary and environmental work for a wide range of clients and organizations, as well as our own personal projects.



Saskia Coulson

To do that, we collaborate with many different communities and individuals and draw inspiration from historical, creative, and ecological responses.



Colin Tennant

We aim to make works that spark conversations about the past, present and future of our manmade and natural world.



Saskia Coulson

What always lambing and reflecting on our own practice and seeking to preserve stems from the.



Jens Bringsjord

Tuscan Collins introduction into photography is quite different from each other. However, they've really enjoyed coming together and creating work as a team. For Colin, his journey into photography began on his 16th birthday.



Saskia Coulson

My mom bought me a camera for my birthday. That was really the first time I'd ever explored photography. I had this camera. It was a 35 millimeters film camera. It wasn't particularly expensive or fancy or anything like that, but I really fell in love with it, and I started Document and my friends and then we would get up to like just kind of fun stuff.



Saskia Coulson

I would be like our friends, a documentary, I guess. And that's really where my love of photography came from. It just became a hobby and something that I really enjoyed doing. And I would stay up late and like photograph the sunset. And I was like, when I bought a car, you know, when I turned 17, I got less than the old broken-down car.



Saskia Coulson

And I would like drive to the beach and like photographed the waves. And I just. Just kind of fell in love with it. So that's how it began, really. And then it took me a little while to maybe work out that it could be a career or something that I pursued as an actual occupation.



Megan Luedke

Saskia's introduction began a bit earlier in life with both her parents working as photographers. Saskia was practically born with a camera in her hands from day one.



Colin Tennant

My journey was both. My parents are photographers. They met at National Geographic and there were photographers there for many years. And so, I kind of grew up with photography around me, and it was almost intuitive that I had a camera in my hand from a very early age. I learned a lot from my parents, specifically my mom, because my dad went off to be a photo editor and my mom continued to be a photojournalist, and she actually took me on quite a lot of assignment when I was growing up, and that was my first exposure to photography, and I learned a huge amount from her and kind of working in the field.



Colin Tennant

And then I went off to study photography. I actually kind of took a little bit of a different route after I graduated, I kind of went down an academic route and I ended up getting a Ph.D. in design, actually. My dad unfortunately passed away a few years ago, and I think that made me realize because of that connection I had had with him in photography, that photography was really a true passion of mine and that kind of helped me see that that's where I wanted to go again in my own creative practice, and that in addition to conversations that we've been having together about our own practices coming together, we're really what drew me back



Colin Tennant

to photography for skin.



Jens Bringsjord

Colin both studied fine art and photography at the Glasgow School of Art, which is where their collective journey began.



Colin Tennant

There's a lot in terms of our collaboration. We met in art school, and we trained as photographers, and we've lived our life together. And then through that, we've come back together as a partnership, a creative partnership, because the School of Art is quite small classes, so we about 22 pupils in total, and so we were just friends.



Saskia Coulson

That then became a little bit more. When you're in art school, you're always having critiques and you're always sort of talking about your work in question, your work. So, we actually had a good relationship and why we made the photographs we were making and why we were pursuing the projects we were pursuing. And so, we had quite a good creative relationship even prior to sort of becoming an item.



Jens Bringsjord

After they both graduated in 2007 from the Glasgow School of Art, they decided to pursue slightly different creative endeavors.



Megan Luedke

Colin began his freelance photography business and Saskia continued on in her academic pursuits.



Saskia Coulson

For the first couple of years, you know, we were just kind of working and trying to, you know, work out what we were going to do with ourselves. And then I sort of went freelance and decided I was going to try and make a living as a photographer. And that's quite a big step for me because I was a little bit unlike Saskia.



Saskia Coulson

I didn't really grow up with people that worked in the creative industries, and I didn't really know many people that were doing that. Other than yourself, obviously your mum and dad, but they, you know, they travelled all the time. We didn't really have hung out with them. So, I kind of started doing that. And almost at the same time you started doing your masters and going down your kind of academic route.



Saskia Coulson

And then about five years after that, when you'd start a completely Ph.D. and I've had five years of basically scraping together an existence as a freelance photographer, we decided to sort of then join forces.



Jens Bringsjord

And join forces. They did Saskia and Colin really wanted to tell the story of how beautiful our planet Earth is. And so, they're global audience through an open dialog with imagery, the environmental issues that we face, while at the same time finding ways to abstract and communicate the natural environment.



Colin Tennant

After I finished my PhD and we decided that we were going to work together creatively and it wasn't just about the timing, it was about our kind of shared interest and practice and then also our shared interest in using real kind of issues that meant a lot to us. So, issues around the environment, around human connection with the environment and land, because I saw in academia was that there is a lot of really interesting research coming out, but a lot of people don't find out about these things because actually takes, you know, visual storytelling to really connect with people.



Colin Tennant

And that was one of the things that we really wanted to do. That's why we wanted to collaborate is because we wanted to make powerful visual stories about things like the environment that actually told these stories, told and communicated what was going on in the world, and hopefully have an impact.



Saskia Coulson

And we kind of felt that with our photography and our filmmaking, we had an opportunity to make work about subjects we cared about and also be able to try and reach a wider audience is with that and from my personal point of view, the first kind of five years of being a freelance photographer and then a filmmaker, I was doing any type of work that I could really just to make a living.



Saskia Coulson

And it was kind of getting to me a little bit because sometimes you end up working on projects that are maybe not, they don't necessarily mean as much to you are not necessarily in line with your own climate models and ideals. And so, we kind of got to that stage and say, well, what set up our own company?



Saskia Coulson

And let's really use this kind of three pillars like photography, filmmaking, and research to underpin our collective practice. And that's why we sort of set up our own company and then started trying to sell finishing projects or projects that were more meaningful to us both. You know, when you work professionally, you build up a confidence. You know, it takes a while until you realize they actually, you know, I'm a professional.



Saskia Coulson

I'm actually quite good at what I do. People want to hire me. I can deliver, I can take a brief and deliver on that. And so I think for me personally, I've just became more confident and I understood my professional practice more with yourself scale, what you do in your academic work, you use time to learn a lot about the subjects that we were wanting to approach through our photography, and so we can only say so I think probably through you doing that, you have such a huge knowledge base about it.



Colin Tennant

It wasn't just one day to the next, everything shifted. I feel like was still yeah, you know, kind of in that gradual development phase of trying to figure out because it's something that is, is new to us. I mean, we've I mean, we've been working together for over five years, but it still feels like, you know, every day your kind of taking on or growing a little bit more from it.



Colin Tennant

And also, different kind of clients we still have to maintain a kind of balance between our personal projects and the work that maybe pays the bills as well. And that's just the nature of being freelance, I think, in today's world.



Saskia Coulson

I guess maybe that's just because we're more experienced now and we have a stronger portfolio and you know, we can maybe export different types of clients now, but even I sure do. And what would be regarded as as projects that are that are initiated by clients rather than our personal projects that are initiated by us, we still try and work with clients that are in line with our sort of ideas.



Saskia Coulson

So, NGOs and not for profit charities and that are sort of tackling some of the issues to do with culture or activity or environmental issues, things like that. So just trying to be a little bit more kind of clever about who we work for and the projects that we take on.



Jens Bringsjord

And for Saskia, growing up with her parents, who were both photographers at National Geographic, gave her some really unique experiences. We asked her if she could share a few of those stories with us.



Colin Tennant

I was very close to my dad, and we shared a lot, a lot of common interests around photography, and we shared a very common aesthetic as well. But my dad had actually left the National Geographic to take a job as a photo editor when I was quite young. So, my experiences of traveling around the world were primarily with my mom, and she would go off on assignment for 3 to 6 months at a time, and occasionally I got to go with her.



Colin Tennant

When I was a little bit older, I got to basically travel around Italy with her for a month because I was, I was on my summer holidays, and I was nine years old, and I was with her, and her assistants and they were all very lovely. And we went to a lot of different places, but we went to an archaeological dig where she was working quite a lot on kind of capturing the story of the past and trying to put it into the present.



Colin Tennant

And I think that's where I've got a lot of respect for my mom's practice, but that's where her real strength is, is being able to tell a historical story in present day and to make it relevant to people. I spent quite a lot of time with her in Iceland as well and doing a story on the Vikings, which is obviously quite important for her and for me because we're Danish.



Colin Tennant

And so, it kind of draws back on that past.



Megan Luedke

One story that Saskia specifically remembers vividly as a child was an encounter with the Italian Mafia.



Colin Tennant

And the mafia was protesting the parade that stayed. And then things got really quite intense towards the end because at the end of the parade they go up to a church and they get a statue of Mary, I think, and they put her onto a carriage. And the carriage all is made of all these papier mâché.



Colin Tennant

Iconography and stuff. And then they take the carriage, and they go really quickly back down through the city, through all these winding roads. And as they do that, people like that off of it so that they can see the papier mâché carriage. And things are just getting really like really intense at that point, right when they're about to release the carriage.



Colin Tennant

And I got I remember seeing actually the Mafia. This is like the only time that I've seen them. And it was quite scary at the time when you're nine and my mom sending me away with one of her assistants and she had to stay there and photograph the whole thing.



Jens Bringsjord

Saskia's first time to Antarctica was back in 2008 with her parents, where she experienced life aboard a vessel owned by a company known as Winblad, the vessels of Photographers, scientists, geologists, and others to the region.



Megan Luedke

The connections that Saskia's family had made during those trips was the connection that led both Colin and Saskia to go on the trip to Antarctica together as photographers.



Saskia Coulson

To Saskia's mum and dad work the National Geographic expeditions that sometimes travelled to Antarctica. They'd taken Saskia as a guest in 2008 and 2009. So that was like your first experience of Antarctica. Saskia's mum subsequently worked on various kind of do an expedition. What she befriended a couple that were on one of those expeditions and the woman was a keen filmmaker and she had been shooting a lot of underwater footage and she was looking for a film editor to help out at that edge.



Saskia Coulson

And Saskia's mum being the very kind person. And she had said, oh, wait, you should get in touch with my son in law. And so, then I got in touch with her, and they went and edit this underwater film for her. And at the same time, it was another phone maker on one on the expedition ship. I went on and he was working for another expedition company and we just kind of had to also call back.



Saskia Coulson

And he said, oh, would you be interested in maybe working on some of the expedition ships? And I was like, Sure, but I didn't really think much of that. He was from New Zealand anyway. He phoned the enemy. Six months passed and he phoned me up and says, do you want to go to Antarctica and can Saskia come as well?



Saskia Coulson

Because he knew that Saskia was a photographer and found me also the company that we that he was working for that he was kind of recruiting us for really one is like a couple. So, it was just kind of one of those things where, you know, you meet people and yet and still you walk in a job and at least another job.



Saskia Coulson

And, and that's kind of how I would start it.



Colin Tennant

That was in 2017. We went down there for the first time together and we've been going back for every season. And when we say season, it is the summer season for Antarctica because that's really the only time that you can get down there. So that's from November to March, is there summer. So, we spend quite a few months there for the past.



Colin Tennant

Well, obviously we've not been this year, but the three years before that.



Saskia Coulson

We would usually work in a small shop, and we travelled down from South America, from Esquire in Argentina to Antarctic Peninsula, and we'd spend like a week or ten days there, including the crossing. And then we would come back, and we would do that maybe four or five times. With the not season.



Colin Tennant

People go there because they want to go and see Antarctica. But we work with a team, an expedition team, and a lot of the other members of the team have scientific backgrounds or so they're either marine biologist, some of them are geologists. There are also historians, just a lot of different people that through their career have learned quite a lot about Antarctica or maybe have actually spent seasons in some of the research bases.



Saskia Coulson

The idea of having this expedition team is really to try and educate those people, some of them maybe photography, and so make an enthusiast and they want to hang out with like Saskia and I quite a lot. But some of them are maybe really more into the science behind or the wildlife, the kind of ecology of it. So, there's a lot of different people on the ship that go there as a sort of paid guest.



Saskia Coulson

I would expedition team is made up of like lots of scientists. I mean, people that have like four medals. And I've spent like one third in Antarctica, which is quite a big thing, you know. So yeah, some really fascinating people from all over the world as well, surely multicultural, which is kind of a wonderful environment to be working and.



Colin Tennant

We learn so much from them because obviously our expertise and our background are in film and photography. We knew and we researched a bit into Antarctica before we had been down, and I had the experience of being down there beforehand. Every single time we're down there, the conversations that we have, we just there's such a wealth of knowledge from the team that we work with, and we really appreciate.



Colin Tennant

They're always very giving in terms of what they know.



Megan Luedke

When Colin and Saskia boarded their vessel to Antarctica together for the first time, Sasha was already used to experience having travelled there with her parents. However, for Colin, she was going there for the first time, and while he had researched and read a lot about the place before embarking on the trip, there was nothing more vivid to him than being there in person.



Saskia Coulson

So, you know, it was quite a big deal to go to Antarctica, you know, and like I come from a small town in Scotland going out didn't really envisage the point. The fact that I'd be walking on assignment and on the first track. When we went there together, we bought a few different pieces of equipment for going there, you know, extra equipment, and one of them was us, a long lens, a 400-millimetre lens.



Saskia Coulson

And we were like, Yeah, that'll be great for the wildlife, you know? So, the first day we arrived in Antarctica, we saw it travelled through the night, and you cross what's called the Drake Passage, which is it’s regarded as one of the most volatile bodies of water in the world. It wasn't to bother that particular crossing, but mainly because it was darkness.



Saskia Coulson

The tank arrived in darkness and when we woke up it was this Arctic Antarctic landscape in front of you which was mind blowing in itself. It was like gale force winds and like a snowstorm. We were making a landing in a place all afternoon. I want you get these little Zodiac reports that take about eight people from the main ship on the island.



Saskia Coulson

You packed up our equipment and we have a lot of equipment in your day now because you know you can't just not to like our work will be an action packed something so that all our equipment and it's like 50 mile an hour gale force one snowstorm and we're on this little boat and I'm like, this is like really hard core.



Saskia Coulson

I don't know if I'm like, up to this, but anyway, we landed on the island and got the camera and put like our protective case in there. And it was like, what would chinstrap penguins like maybe about 30 meters away. And I just kneel down, set the tripod up, had my 400 millimetres lens and started swimming like a penguin.



Saskia Coulson

I was like, I had this moment. I was like, okay, let's take a one. I was like, Oh, wow, I'm in Antarctica. Like so many penguins, you know, it was like kind of crazy. And I turned drone just to look at the landscape. And just as I turned back, my tripod had been blown over and my new 400-millimeter lens had cropped off like a little rock.



Saskia Coulson

And that was my first, our sort of 5 minutes in Antarctica. So yeah, it was pretty funny, but also a real lesson on the brutality of that landscape.



Jens Bringsjord

The primary role of their expedition is to document the trip for the visitors aboard. From all the footage that Saskia and Colin take, they then create a video documentary of the trip.



Saskia Coulson

And it's usually about 20 minutes, 25 minutes in length. It usually features some of our expedition team who are experts, and we might have someone who's an expert on the behaviour of whales as we get footage of whales and more maybe interview them. And they all sort of talk about that because.



Jens Bringsjord

The focus of their trip is to create a documentary. Saskia's and Colin's equipment is mainly meant to capture video and audio footage.



Saskia Coulson

But we try and cover up from all angles. So, we have drones that we take down now so we can get like aerial shots. And we have two standard conventional camera bodies with different lenses. And then we've got like an underwater casing that we use so we can try and shoot underwater as well.



Colin Tennant

And then we also like things like that can just help us like little clips here and there. Like we have a GoPro, you know, with an underwater housing as well because sometimes that's, you know, quicker and easier than putting your camera in and taking it out of the larger housing too. And you can sometimes attach to like the Zodiacs.



Colin Tennant

They're in boats that Kong is talking about, and you can get some nice shots that way and just try and make it. We try and make our films quite immersive, you know, so that when people look at it, they can get that sense of the fact that they're really in Antarctica.



Saskia Coulson

Yeah, but the equipment as a whole doesn't necessarily change from the equipment we reduce actually, but on assignment and you know, like in Europe somewhere, however, the main difficulty is that quite often we're on very small zodiac boats and we have to have all that equipment with us. It's possibly like a snowstorm and it's one day. So, you're constantly trying to protect that equipment whilst being able to, you know, shoot the footage, and get the shots.



Saskia Coulson

So that's the hardest thing, I think. And, you know, it's very cold. So, when you're like you're putting your hands under the water trying to underwater footage, it's like you can only lost either 20 seconds or, you know, you feel like your hands are going to fall off. So, it's quite intense. I remember flying the drone and it's like it just started snowing instantly and the drone was like 200 meters away and I was like, oh, we need to try and get that spot.



Saskia Coulson

Yeah. We've had a few, like few close calls. We had the drone out. Feldman Humpback whales, which is really wonderful. Like when we found them some from the air and all of a sudden, this kind of mass just started coming and around us and we lost the drone. Basically, we couldn't see it and we could hear it, but we couldn't see it.



Saskia Coulson

And, you know, you have you have a responsive home button with the drone, but because you're on a move and chef, you know, you're not like in a static location.



Colin Tennant

G.P.S. changes.



Saskia Coulson

Yeah, so that was tricky. But we did eventually get the drone down.



Colin Tennant

We've never lost a drone, which is great. Yeah, that's. That's a big no not down there. We actually have to put flotation devices on the drone so that if the drone falls into the water, you can get it. Not so you can rescue the drone, but just so you don't pollute plastics down in Antarctica, it's part of the regulations down there.



Colin Tennant

We had a crab eater come up to our Zodiacs. We basically just put the GoPro into the water on a stick and it came right up to it because obviously there's regulations about how close you can get to animals. But if you're still and you're calm and you wait, sometimes they'll come to you. And so, if you've got your camera equipment on you, then you can get some pretty amazing footage.



Colin Tennant

We do have a lot of coverings for our camera and our equipment, so we've got rain jackets for them and they're a lifesaver. They keep them the same. Also, the cameras that we use, the one dear, is built for photojournalists to go and take photos in war situations. So, I mean, they're built to them are tanks essentially. So, they are very durable as well.



Colin Tennant

But we're obviously quite overly protective because we want to make sure that our equipment stays safe.



Megan Luedke

While the equipment is certainly important for Saskia and Colin, sometimes all you need is a GoPro or a mobile phone and a great environment to get the best shot of the day.



Saskia Coulson

You know, we've got some amazing stuff with our GoPro simply because it's what on a ship, as soon as something happens, you just turn it on and put it in the water. You know, it takes 3 seconds. It's like, you know, the bit with a wall in the world. It's going to take about 3 minutes before we can set that up.



Saskia Coulson

So sometimes when you're particularly when you're shooting wildlife, you need to be to be quiet and have stuff to harness.



Colin Tennant

And we've also found that with our phones, too, I mean, we tend to shoot quite a lot with our phones. And I think one of my favourite examples of that is we were on South Georgia, over 70,000 breeding pairs of king penguins. So, imagine like king penguins as far as the eye can see. And I was there, and I was photographing penguins because I was trying to get a close up with my long lens.



Colin Tennant

And I looked down and their a like a king penguin check just looking right up at me. And you just like at that moment, you just take out your mobile phone and you just take the photo because that's the only because I couldn't take it with the long lens on that.



Saskia Coulson

So, it was probably the most interesting photo of all the photos and shot because the penguin chick was so close.



Colin Tennant

Yeah, and it's because it's a wide angle and stuff. You actually get that sense of it being that close.



Jens Bringsjord

The expedition is pretty jam packed for the passengers on board the ship.



Colin Tennant

Yeah, our ship goes around the Antarctic Peninsula, so when you cross over from Trier, you tend to go to one of the first stops might be the South Shetland Islands, which are a few islands that are right above kind of the mainland. And we tend to do about seven stops and each stop is a is a day and you can have 100 people on land at a time so that the ship, the expedition ship kind of organizes that so that only 100 people are on land and there's designated landing sites on the Antarctic Peninsula.



Colin Tennant

And those have been identified by a company called IATO, which kind of regulates tourism down in Antarctica. So, you go to these designated sites, and we usually spend about a day at the site and then maybe we might do something that's more water based in the evening. So, like things like whale watching because there's a lot of humpback whales down there.



Saskia Coulson

Essentially, there's only certain spots that you can actually land and go ashore because basically everything is like just massive glaciers and mountains. So, there's not a huge amount places to land. But where you can land sometimes is scientific stations that you can perhaps weather or just more kind of rocky inshore areas that you can get a small zodiac boat, the cottage like ten people on to see.



Saskia Coulson

Yes. And as we do that, you are probably we would just for a short height and maybe go and look at the wildlife. There's probably a penguin colony there, but we do just a lot of traveling up on the boats as well. The small this the small zodiac boats. And that allows you to get into places that maybe the larger ship wouldn't be able to do.



Saskia Coulson

And also, you get some really incredible wildlife encounters when you're on those small, small boats. So, it's a real mixture. And sometimes the weather doesn't allow us to land as well. So, your kind of moored on the shot and you kind of learn from the larger ship.



Jens Bringsjord

While waiting for wildlife as part of the task. When trying to capture footage of the diverse range of animals in Antarctica since and Colin consult with scientists and experienced Antarctic enthusiasts aboard the vessel to find the locations where a majority of the animals are located.



Saskia Coulson

You know, you do see wildlife quite regularly. It's not like you have to go search. And it's just that part of our expedition team and our expedition leader is a scientist or has been working there for a number of years. They know where there's large colonies of penguins because they always pull back and sort of get both in the same place.



Saskia Coulson

And you quite often meet with the same partner. So, but yeah, no, there's some you know what's really amazing what I love when we arrive in Antarctica, the thing that I think always thought we made that is like when you look of off the deck and the shepherd, you just see penguins, porpoise and in the water. It's like the coolest thing ever.



Saskia Coulson

You're like Norway. Like, I don't ever see that anywhere else in the world. And you just look out and there's like 40 penguins, just like traveling about 20 miles per hour, just like up and down over the waves. And that's kind of cool. And we're not happening. Yeah. It always makes me smile when it's not.



Megan Luedke

Yeah. What's asking? Colin don't specifically categorize their craft as wildlife photographers. They like to find new and alternative and abstract ways to capture nature and the scenery around them.



Colin Tennant

I think because of our cool background as well, we're kind of always looking to take photos that are maybe a bit different than what we're traditionally used to looking at. When we think about wildlife photography.



Saskia Coulson

We don't think of ourselves as wildlife photographers or wildlife filmmakers. It just so happens that when we're on assignment in Antarctica, the wildlife is like our subject or part of our subject. And in actual fact, I think we both find that quite liberating. We just shoot wildlife as if it was, you know, it could be any subject. You know, I don't feel like we're conditioned to shoot wildlife in a particular way.



Colin Tennant

Yeah.



Saskia Coulson

I find that really enjoyable because, you know, we end up like an example of this is Saskia shortened this image on a place called the set in Ireland and that's an associate when I went and one of the first group II ones that you would reach when you're in Antarctic waters. And it's a really incredible place because it's an active cloud caldera.



Saskia Coulson

So, like a volcano, a sort of area and it has this lovely volcanic dark, can I ask color everywhere. And then obviously when it snows, you really contrast with that. And it's quite an incredible Facebook penguin. They have these things called penguin highways, which is like the kind of roads that the penguins walk on to get to their mating grounds.



Saskia Coulson

If you stand back from like an area, whether it be like a glacier or mount and a rocky part or the nastiest to such an island, which was like just like a set of birds behind where the beach was that we create these like amazing, beautiful kind of abstract ponds with there's highways, which you just where penguins would be walk and get to it.



Saskia Coulson

That's like, well, I think it's a really beautiful abstract black and white image. So, if you looked at it, you know, it's you wouldn't necessarily think that penguins had created that pond or that it was any wildlife that was part of that particular image. And I always feel that we're trying to kind of create work that's maybe slightly different when using wildlife as a subject rather than just depicting the wildlife in a more conventional way.



Colin Tennant

And I think that's what drives us there as well, because obviously, you know, we're there to document and to capture and make the film and also to document the trip with images as well. But in terms of our own practice, we're always looking for those kinds of moments that provide for a unique image that kind of makes something a little bit different.



Saskia Coulson

Some wildlife photography that I see is incredible, but also sometimes a thankful, yes, it's a penguin, you know, like that's a photograph of a penguin. But we're trying to find a way to kind of tell a slightly different story or to try and talk about the environment and the Penguins relationship with a colony in Hobart. So as incorporated into a single image or some moving of these images that we create.



Saskia Coulson

So, I guess what always trying to think of became a bigger picture when we're working one way of life.



Megan Luedke

To travel to Antarctica, to the memories and experiences of Saskia and Colin was such a true inspiration during the making of this episode.



Jens Bringsjord

From understanding the extremes, they go to catch truly perfect shots, the encounters with wildlife and the untouched, barren land of the Antarctic region, it's all worth it in the end to capture that one perfect shot.



Megan Luedke

We live in a world that's constantly changing from one moment to the next, but we're simply one still is moving picture photography. You can relive the moment over and over again.



Jens Bringsjord

That's the true power of a photographer being there to capture each moment. No matter how big or small the changes are from one star condensed.



Megan Luedke

To find out more about Saskia Coulson and Colin Tennant to consider their Instagram Tik Tok and website links in the show notes. We definitely recommend you check them out.



Jens Bringsjord

Also, don't forget to join us for our next episode by subscribing to the show and leaving a positive review. We really appreciate it.



Megan Luedke

To learn more about Design, Atlas and to sign up for updates, visit our website at Design Atlas podcast. If you want to get in touch with us or have a topic idea for our next episode, feel free to send us an email at Hello Design Atlas Podcast or DM us on Instagram at Design House Pod. Thanks for listening.



Megan Luedke

I'm Megan Luedke.



Jens Bringsjord

And I'm Jens Bringsjord.



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