Polaroid Express: Sunderland photographer captures Antarctic adventure on camera

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A Wearsider is leading his very own ‘polaroid’ express – after serving up a breathtaking snapshot of a fantastic voyage to the Antarctic.

Talented Richard Turner has shared a rich array of astonishing images of the ice-laden wonderland taken from a research ship.

The 48-year-old hopes his cold snaps – which range from eye-catching landscapes to prowling polar bears – will not only warm hearts but spark a new wave of interest in the area he and his crewmates have placed under scientific scrutiny.

Mr Turner, who lives in Hendon and was educated at Southmoor School, has served on board the Royal Research Ship James Clark Ross for 14 years, starting off as a chef before graduating to his current role of purser.

Just a small part of Mr Turner’s all-encompassing role sees him running the catering department of the ship, which is part of the British Antarctic Survey carrying out scientific research.

But he soon found his environment gave him plenty of ingredients to feed his passion for photography.

Mr Turner’s amazing Antarctic images take pride of his place on his own website and Facebook pages.

He first swapped land for sea in 1999 after being inspired by a TV documentary featuring the chef manager of the Halley research station.

When he saw a post advertised for a chef for the British Antarctic Survey weeks later he jumped at the chance – and found himself replacing the very man he had watched on the small screen.

Mr Turner said: “My role on board as purser is to be responsible for the hotel aspects of the ship; running the catering department, buying food and beverage stores, cabin linen, cleaning materials, managing the personal accounts of all on board.

“I am also in charge of the ship’s official documents to make sure it can enter and depart ports.”

He added: “I have always had a passion for art and photography and you just can’t fail to be inspired by the amazing sights you see.

“Huge, magnificent icebergs, and how the light catches them, pure works of art. Also, the wildlife can be captivating too.

“Watching penguins or humpback whales swimming around is an experience you don’t forget.

“A lot of my friends and family think when I’m on the ship in the Antarctic and when I look outside, it’s like one of those scenes from a Sir David Attenborough documentary, which of course it isn’t.

“But when you do get that good photo that captures people’s attention, provokes interest into wanting to 
understand the natural world or want to protect the natural world, then that’s a very 
pleasing aspect of my photography.”

l To check out more of Mr Turner’s work, visit www.richardturnerphotographs.co.uk or www.facebook.com/Richard-Turner-Photographs.