Off the Grid:
10 Days in Antarctica
Text by Tara Lange, Photography
by Nick Onken

Antarctica’s winds are unforgiving. Its barren landscape is lonely and inhospitable. But for photographers like Nick Onken, there is magic in the frosty climate, splendor in the bleak terrain, and a magnetism in the continent’s mystery–  a pull that justifies the need for a parka.


A friend’s Antarctic wedding gave Onken, along with 50 of the bride and groom’s friends, the chance of a lifetime to venture south to penguin territory. After boarding a tour ship in Patagonia, the group embraced the off-the-grid life, sailing through some of the world’s roughest waters toward the remote Antarctic Peninsula.

"Pictures only scratch the surface at capturing the Antarctic’s majesty..."

For Onken, dazzling scenery, angular ice scapes, and sun-drenched backdrops made Antarctica a photographer’s utopia. It was almost difficult to take a bad picture.

Onken’s images are breathtaking, but pictures only scratch the surface at capturing the Antarctic’s majesty.

If you’ve ever considered daring into the unknown, it will be well worth the risk. You might even be surprised by a seemingly desolate landscape’s warm and inviting welcome.

During the 10-day expedition, the group relished in whale watching, disembarked for land excursions, braved polar swims, and camped overnight on the icy terrain (fear not, temperatures rarely fell below -1 degree centigrade).

Photography by Nick Onken

By Published on Mar 03 2015