Antarcticans Database Project
A collection of Antarctic pictures from those who lived there  more information

Click the small image to enlarge, click on the text to go to thumbnails pages of that group, there are often several thumbnails pages which lead to many more larger image pages. Can you contribute?


For some time there has been a section on this site where people who have worked in Antarctica in the past can register their details to find old friends, the links to these pages are in the margin to the right.

One recurring theme from people who post their details looking for old friends they went south with, is that many have lost pictures that they used to have (or perhaps they simply didn't have many in the first place) and would like some for themselves or to show to friends and especially family who came along long after they left Antarctica. I think it will also be valuable to build up a record of life in Antarctica that is starting to recede into history, to put it into perspective I am 53 as I write this, when I was born Shackleton's Endurance adventure had taken place 45 years earlier.

In April 2016 I sent an email request to those people who had registered and had at some point in their lives been "Antarcticans" to contribute copies of pictures from their time south that maybe were languishing in a drawer or cupboard somewhere, often with a mental label of "do something with these one day".

On receipt I clean up these pictures sent and arrange them to be published here by location and date.

If you can contribute to this then please send me scans that are large as possible (up to 4000px in the largest dimension). I can clean them up to some degree (though the cleaner they are to start with the better), crop, adjust horizons and balance colour etc. before publication.

The easiest way to send pictures is via DropBox, let me know when you are ready and I will create a folder and send you the link by email to upload your pictures, alternatively, they could be sent by email or dvd. Information with the pictures is also of great use, as much as possible. I can also scan a limited number of slides, though this will involve posting them here and back again.

Paul Ward
64 High Street
Great Paxton
St. Neots
PE19 6RF

webmaster - CoolAntarctica and ex Signy FID, '85 & '86 winters.

Copyright - I will assume that all pictures sent to CoolAntarctica are the copyright of the person sending them, they will be labeled as such on the pages they appear. By sending them you are giving permission for them to be used on ONLY.

Digitizing pictures

I have been asked if I have any tips to help those who have a scanner and slides and have yet to digitize their slide/negatives collection.

Minimum 1200 dpi resolution. Take the time to set everything up before you start so that you can just process the slides with no further thought.

Mid-range scanners are perfectly adequate. I use a flatbed scanner with slide adapter as it is more versatile for other things, dedicated slide scanners can speed up the handling time.

The most important thing is to CLEAN THE SLIDES AS THOROUGHLY AS YOU CAN FIRST. You can remove hairs and speckles in Photoshop or similar but it is time consuming and not always invisible. Far better to not have to remove any dirt in the first place, I use an ordinary photographic blower brush to do this, go over each side with it immediately before scanning even if the slide looks clean, it seems tedious but saves far more time later.

If the scanner has options such as auto-crop, despeckle etc. DON'T use them, there will always be far too many you have to go back and do manually. I have since heard that some scanners have a method of doing this by scanning with visible and then infra-red light which work by "subtracting" the speckles from the actual picture and are much better than previous methods. I suggest you make sure it works as it should before you start doing dozens or hundreds. In any case there is no better solution than having clean slides in the first place.

Scanning can be quite slow, you don't want to just be sat there waiting for it to happen, once I've done a few I can start to adjust them on the computer for any sloping horizons, brightness/contrast, colour balance etc. Or you could do some other task while it happens in the background, nothing too mentally taxing that gets disturbed by the stop-start of changing slides over.

Dedicate some long periods to scanning / filing etc. once you're in the "zone" you'll do it much more efficiently than having to keep getting up to speed each time in dribs and drabs

Make sure you keep the initial raw scans in a separate file and all adjusted pictures in a different file.

Plan some sort of naming / numbering / filing sequence before you start, it is a real pain looking for that picture you have in your head with no idea where you put it or find it's been accidentally kicked under the metaphorical fridge.

  I'm sure I did this already... every now and then I send out emails, a proportion of these bounce back as "not found", often because it was a former work email or an ISP that no longer exists, as there is no longer any way to make contact I delete the record to keep things as current as I can..