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Out in the Cold: Photos from the poles

Posted on Sep 22, 2022

Photographer Danie Ferreira’s upcoming book, Out in the Cold, exhibits life and land in the North and South poles

How does it feel to be out in the cold? Danie Ferreira, a South African photographer, answers this question through a collection of images, illustrations, and text that mimics the look and feel of both an explorer’s diary and an artist’s portfolio. His upcoming book, Out in the Cold, comes in two handmade, silk-bound editions—North and South—and documents over 30 years of life in the Arctic and Antarctic.

In 1983, taking only his clothes and SLR camera, Ferreira worked in Antarctica as a meteorological observer. This spurred him to study photojournalism and geology at university, which ultimately launched his career in television production. In 2014, he traded corporate life for icy adventure, going on to work in Antarctica, Scandinavia, Greenland, northern Canada, and the route from Cape Horn to Cape Town. He’s especially interested in Greenland’s ‘ice dogs’, having directed a documentary of that same name in 2016.

Photography News nabbed a first look at Ferreira’s new books, which contain some impressive imagery. Striking double-page spreads accentuate the polar terrains’ true expansiveness, while white space provides a sense of calmness and cleanliness, a testament to nature remaining largely untouched in these remote locations. But while humans are physically absent, their presence is felt through climate change. Erosion overshadows Ferreira’s relationship with the outdoors, as shown through melting icebergs and animal migration.

Life in the poles is seldom what it seems; snow, ice, and sky blend and blur, contrasting with man-made objects but camouflaging with native species. North and South are clearly distinct, with Ferreira’s close-ups of polar bears and snowy owls dominating in the Arctic and emperor penguins and elephant seals in the Antarctic. By using the topography as a framing device, Ferreira creates compositions that maintain focus by seamlessly moving the eye from fore- to background. Long exposures capture motion; rushing water and whirring winds embody the sensory experiences of these often unforgiving lands.

Ferreira’s storytelling not only speaks to his accomplishments as a photojournalist but also to his appreciation and adoration for the regions to which he’s travelled. Out in the Cold costs £2500 (one for the Christmas list, maybe) and will be available from Hurtwood on 18 October 2022.

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