5 Jul 2024

A love for the natural world and a passion for photography opened the door to the magical world of Antarctica for Anthony Powell.

Anthony grew up on a farm in Taranaki with an interest in tramping and the outdoors – so an opportunity to work in a mysterious continent for a one-year secondment was a no brainer.

Over the last 25 years, Anthony has cumulatively spent more than ten years below the Antarctic Circle, including ten winters when the base endures months of unending darkness.

Here he worked as a Communications Tech and Satellite Engineer, maintaining radio and satellite links at Scott Base, while nurturing an underlying hobby of bringing Antarctica to the world through photography.

“Photography was a hobby of mine at the time, and I treated the year a bit like an OE as I still had my old job as a Telecommunications Tech to go back to,” Anthony says.

“I felt like the beauty of Antarctica hadn’t really been captured properly, so over the years I worked to put my technical background to use in the world of photography and developed my camera skills.”

Anthony began by taking one photograph a day for the Antarctic Visitor Centre, providing an insight into life in Antarctica.

“There really is nowhere like that in the world, and I wanted to show off its beauty to others who couldn’t visit it for themselves,” Anthony says.

Over the years, Anthony’s photography skills and love for the mysterious continent snowballed and he now works as a full time filmmaker and photographer who specialises in all things Antarctica.

His footage has now appeared in exhibits, TV shows, films and magazines including National Geographic, Discovery Channel, Disney and BBC’s Frozen Planet series, and released his debut feature film in 2013, Antarctica; A Year On Ice.

He works within education outreach programmes, hosts public and keynote speaking sessions, assists researchers and creates specialised camera systems to document the science within Antarctica.

Anthony has made it his life’s work to document the amazing and eternally mysterious continent, Antarctica, through a medium that’s accessible to all, and was recognised for this work with a Christchurch Civic Award last year.

Nominations for the Christchurch Civic Awards 2024 are open now. Make your nomination to recognise those who have made an outstanding contribution to the life and people of the city.  

Images: Supplied