René Koster

Netherlands

"Antarctica: In Search of Beauty"

The project Antarctica shows a series of photographs of a voyage to the South Pole made by the author, René Koster. "I travelled with a sailing ship which was built in 1911; the same period the last great expeditions left for the unknown continent. Thoughts of frozen ships trapped in ice-covered seas cross my mind, images of the photographers who joined these expeditions to report of the unexplored. Fascinated by their stories I head for the same circumstances as those of the early twentieth century. A journey of longing, to a time that once was. A heroic saga, filled with hardship and adventure, in an infinite, barren land."

"This series of photographs, taken with modern equipment, is a reference to the past. Personally, I feel no need for the photographs to look as if they have been created with techniques of the early 1900s. This is why I have deliberately chosen to work in color; allowing the greyscale of the landscape to emphasize the blue captured in ice. In my search for the right images, I have tried to avoid as many elements of the present time as possible; things that would remind me of everyday life. The calm misty weather gives me a sense of desolation and makes the world feel smaller. The slow rate of traveling by sailing ship influences my way of taking photographs: searching for stillness, harmony and tragedy in the landscape. In search of beauty, the beauty of emptiness and cold."

René Koster’s work concentrates mostly on travel photography and portraits for magazines and advertising agencies around the globe. Work from his Antarctica project was awarded by The Travel Photographer of The Year. When asked ‘Why did you want to explore Antarctica?’ Rene answered to Conde Nast Traveller Spain: ‘I have always had a keen interest in history; the stories of the great expeditions to Antarctica that took place early twentieth century, to discover this continent, still unknown back then. During my time at the Art Academy I was already fascinated by the work of Frank Hurley (1885 – 1962); he took the legendary photos of polar explorer Ernest Shackleton’s ship the Endurance, trapped in Antarctic pack ice. Finally the ship was crushed by the ice and sank’. When Rene was invited by the shipping company to join the crew of The Bark Europa, a tall ship that was built in 1911, on a journey to Antarctica, it was a dream becoming reality.

All pictures are copyright © by René Koster  |  Official Website

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