In her new book, Melting Away: A Ten Year Journey Through Our Endangered Polar Regions
, Seaman documents the beauty of our planet’s most extreme environments — and how climate change is affecting those fragile ecosystems. Seaman spoke with Discover Senior Associate Editor Gemma Tarlach about the decade she spent as a ship’s photographer in Arctic and Antarctic waters, the hazards of shooting in subzero weather and the larger meaning behind every image she takes.
Discover: What are some of the biggest challenges of photographing in extreme polar environments?
What is necessary makes itself clear very quickly in the polar regions. If you are unable to adapt, you do not last long. Having the right gear is essential. As for the digital camera: Never, ever, change lenses in the polar regions. Static and dry conditions will suck dust onto your sensor like you would not believe.
OK, so never change lenses, but what’s a day in the life of a polar photographer like?
S: There was a day in Deception [a flooded active volcanic caldera in the Antarctic Peninsula] when I walked alone to the far end of the beach. There were light flurries of snow falling, and it gave this very monochrome place a sense of being inside a snow globe.