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Can you see the penguins?
Can you see the penguins?

Frigid Photography

If the heat's got you down and you long for a hypothermic winter, this weekend is your last chance to experience one for only $3.

Irma Hale's ice-blue images of Antarctica should do the trick -- there isn't a single photograph that doesn't feature snow, sleet, glaze, snowdrifts, ice floes, icebergs, ice fields, or some other kind of frosty precipitation. Forget sandy beaches and palm trees -- here come the penguins!

Nearly 150 photographs, each one with a caption written by Hale with general information about the shot, related scientific facts, and cool Antarctica trivia, take you on a breathtaking tour of the frozen continent, where temperatures average a frostbite-inducing 40 below zero and can reach as low as a lethal -110F. Snow and ice depths are measured in yards and miles rather than feet, and during summer, the sun is never overhead but just circles around the sky at about a 30-degree angle.

The photographer captured the images while working with the United States Antarctic Program during the austral summer of 1999-2000 and the austral spring and summer of 2000-2001.


"Antarctica" by Irma Hale

Palm Beach Photographic Centre, 55 NE 2nd Ave., Delray Beach

On display 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday through Saturday, Nov. 9. Admission is $3. For more information, call 561-276-9797.

The photographs document Hale's Antarctic adventures, which included retracing the routes of early Antarctic explorers Robert Falcon Scott and Ernest Shackleton. To travel in the footsteps of these intrepid explorers, Hale and her fellows hopped in snowmobiles, Coast Guard icebreakers, airplanes on skis, and helicopters across ice, and climbed 40 feet below the sea ice through a small tube to observe penguins and seals underwater.

Quite surreal are the explorers' huts, which still stand today virtually untouched after nearly 100 years. Temperatures are so cold even inside the huts that everything the exploration teams had left behind, including a dead emperor penguin on an examining table, is still there, frozen in time. And if all this isn't enough to cool you down, the Antarctica program is always on the lookout for volunteers.


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