Our Antarctica – Images from the Great White South

As part of the parallel celebrations of the humanities in Antarctic Science scheduled in conjunction with the SCAR Open Science Conference (OSC) in Portland, the Steering Committee decided, that with millions of photos now available on all aspects of Antarctica, a photographic competition would provide one aspect to which most Antarctic people could potentially contribute.

Thanks to a generous grant from the Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programs (COMNAP) towards the cost of mounting the exhibition and the provision of gallery space in Portland we can now invite submissions from any member of SCAR or COMNAP, or from those who have visited Antarctica with the National Antarctic Programs within the past 10 years.

The exhibition is to be called Our Antarctica – images from the Great White South and includes both colour and black and white images.

All the submissions will be considered in four groups, with the photographer selecting which group he or she wishes to be included in. The four groups will be:

  • Antarctic people
  • Antarctic places
  • Antarctic wildlife
  • Antarctic elements (for all the abstract images that may not fit in the other categories or perhaps overlap)

The competition will be judged by a panel and a certificate will be given to both the winner and the runner-up in each category. The list of winners will be publicised on the SCAR and COMNAP web sites.


The intent of the photographic exhibit is to portray the reality of the Antarctic today, and for this we seek only photographs that are original unaltered images (i.e., scanned or digital-camera images without digital modification other than exposure adjustments). To give it topicality the photograph should have been taken within the last ten years. Each photograph submitted for the judging panel needs to be sent digitally as a small jpg (1 MB or less) by email before 30 April 2012. Those selected for exhibition will be asked to send the image again as a high quality digital image by 1 June 2012 to allow for high quality printing and mounting. In addition, upon submission, each photo should be accompanied by the following information:

  • Who took the photograph and in what capacity (e.g., scientist, artist, science support person, etc)?
  • On what National Antarctic Program?
  • Where, when (date or at least the year) and how the photograph was taken (e.g. film or digital)?
  • Verification that the photograph has not been modified or altered, from the original photo taken (other than cropping and minor exposure adjustments).

Submissions are limited to a maximum of one photo in each category per photographer and any photograph can only be considered in only one category, as determined by the person submitting the photo.

Send the digital files to scar2012photo@pdx.edu.

Any queries about this competition should be sent to David Walton at dwhw@bas.ac.uk. For those selected for exhibition in Portland more information about the photos will be requested in due course for the preparation of labels.


The judging panel members will include representatives from SCAR and COMNAP as well as academic and professional photographers. No member of the judging panel will be eligible to submit photographs. The panel will select those for exhibition in Portland from the total submitted; the four groups may be unequally represented in the final selection. A winner and runner-up will be chosen from each group. The selection criteria will be based on novelty of subject matter, artistic content, and technical quality.

Use of the material

The photographs selected for exhibition will be mounted uniformly and displayed in Portland for the duration of the meetings. The exhibition (or part of it) may be displayed elsewhere after the close of the meeting. Those taking part must agree that SCAR and COMNAP may use the accepted material without payment for non-commercial and educational purposes, with full credit to the photographer. This may include publication in a new book of Antarctic photographs (in which case every photographer included will receive a free copy (and will be contacted for copyright clearance) or as illustrations on SCAR or COMNAP or other related web sites of the beauty of Antarctica and the diversity of work undertaken there. Copies of all photographs will be deposited with SCAR and COMNAP to form a possible source of educational illustrations for future work by both organisations.

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Photo: DJ Jennings, NSF, 2006


Photo: Jeff Otten, NSF, 2009


Photo: Nick Powell, NSF, 2009


Photo: Dr Stacy Kim, NSF, 2005


Photo: Sean Bonnette, NSF, 2010


Photo: Kelly Jacques, NSF, 2010


Photo: Dave Munroe, NSF, 2007


Photo: US Navy, NSF, 1946-1947


Photo: Keith Vanderlinde, NSF, 2008


Photo: Patrick Cullis, NSF, 2009


Photo: Peter Rejcek, NSF, 2010


Photo: Martin Reed, NSF, 2010


Photo: Maj Mike Phillips, NSF, 2003


Photo: Bruce Raymond, NSF, 1960-1961

About SCAR

The Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) is an inter-disciplinary body of the International Council for Science (ICSU). SCAR is charged with initiating, developing, and coordinating high quality international scientific research in the Antarctic and providing independent scientific advice to the Antarctic Treaty System.

Learn more about SCAR

About Portland State

Portland State University serves as a center of opportunity for nearly 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Located in Portland, Oregon, one of the nation's most livable cities, PSU's motto, "Let Knowledge Serve the City," inspires the teaching and research of an accomplished faculty whose work and students span the globe.

Learn more about Portland State


Created in 1988, COMNAP is the international association that brings together National Antarctic Programs from around the world to develop and promote best practice in managing the support of scientific research in Antarctica.

Learn more about COMNAP

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