"I make images of anything that interests me, that I am curious about—things that I find wonder and awe in," says Camille Seaman. In recent years, she has been interested in the great icebergs of the Antarctic. "This," she says, "is where I found my planet."
The daughter of a Shinnecock Indian father, Seaman was raised on a small reservation on Long Island, New York. With a background in fine arts—she attended LaGuardia High School in New York City—she decided to get a BFA in photography, studying with John Cohen and Jan Groover. She has also traveled to Tibet with National Geographic photographer Steve McCurry and taken workshops with Sebastião Salgado, Paul Fusco and Eli Reed.
Seaman discovered the far north in 1999 on a trip to Alaska. Later, she and a few members of her husband's family traveled via icebreaker to the island of Svalbard, in the arctic north of Norway. That trip, in turn, inspired a journey on the same icebreaker to the Antarctic in 2005. "It was then that I saw my first iceberg," says Seaman. "It was mammoth, and I was deeply humbled." Later, Seaman made yet another trip on a Russian icebreaker, photographing icebergs with a secondhand Fuji GX617.
The work is part of a project Seaman calls Melting Away. She says her goal is to capture the "individuality" of the bergs. "They are these stoic, glowing masses of time and experience," she says. "Until my trips to Antarctica, I never considered myself a great portrait photographer, but once I got there I realized that the land, the animals and the place itself had a personality. That realization made Antarctica accessible to me."
:order seaman's book, the last iceberg, here