Macquarie Island King Penguins 14

Macquarie Island King Penguins 14

This past December, I continued my explorations of the South Pacific by traveling to New Zealand where I joined an expedition to the Subantarctic. The 13-day voyage allowed me to visit remote Auckland Island, Campbell Island, and Macquarie Island. During the trip, I photographed wilderness landscapes, comical penguins, friendly elephant seals, and majestic albatross. I was prepared for rough ocean crossings, especially after what I experienced sailing to South Georgia Island in 2012. However, instead of the roaring forties and furious fifties, the seas were calm and the weather unusually benign. The highlight of my trip was photographing king penguins, royal penguins, and elephant seals at Sandy Bay.

This is my favorite image of king penguins. They were totally unafraid of me sitting nearby. With the sun shining below puffy clouds, the stunning island landscape provided a perfect background. This image far exceeded what I had hoped to create, especially considering there was no guarantee that I would even be able to get ashore.

Sadly, Macquarie Island set record high temperatures prior to and during my visit. While this allowed me to create some beautiful images, it bodes poorly for wildlife that depend on cool weather.

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Gold Harbor King Penguins Abstract 1

Gold Harbor King Penguins Abstract 1

This is an abstract image of king penguins that I created while visiting Gold Harbor during my South Georgia Island expedition. I initially photographed this scene with the aid of my tripod using traditional depth of field and sharp focus techniques, but later decided to explore it using slow shutter speeds and hand-held camera movement. I like how this image represents the dynamic chaos of the penguins as they group together, but constantly move about. I searched for repeating patterns and then used a shutter speed of 0.5 second while panning my camera from side to side. Hundreds of experimental images eventually produced a few, like this one, that realized my artistic ambition. I created this image using my Canon 5DmkIII and Canon 70-200mm f2.8 IS II lens. I processed the RAW file using Aperture 3, Photoshop CS6, and Nik Software’s Color Efex 4‘s White Neutralizer filter.

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Salisbury Plain King Penguins 33

Salisbury Plain King Penguins 33

Baby king penguins are simply adorable. I was very fortunate to be able to spend as much time as I did photographing them at Salisbury Plains. The juveniles, like this one, were especially curious. I think that it was hungry and hoped that I would feed it. Keep in mind that in order to visit South Georgia Island, I chose to sail on a small sailboat and suffered for almost a week each way. It was much more difficult than what your average cruise ship visitor experiences. However, I did not join the trip for the misery of the sailing. I paid to be able to spend time photographing wildlife up close and personal. I hope that everyone who admires my photography appreciate the special risks and challenges that I undertake in order to create images that are truly unique. I also hope that people appreciate the drama and humor that I strive to integrate into my work. I created this image using my Canon 5DmkIII, Canon 17-40mm f4 lens, and Singh-Ray LB Warming polarizer & 2-stop Hard Graduated Neutral Density filter. I processed the RAW file using Aperture 3, Photoshop CS6, plus Nik Software’s Color Efex 4‘s White Neutralizer filter.

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Salisbury Plain King Penguins 11

Salisbury Plain King Penguins 11

This is a photo is of juvenile king penguin chicks, which are also called “Oakum boys”. I created it while visiting Salisbury Plain on South Georgia Island in October 2012. My senses were completely over-loaded by the smells, sounds, and scale of the king penguin colony containing several hundred thousand penguins, as well as the grandeur of the landscape. It really is one of the most spectacular settings on Earth. These juveniles were very curious about me, mostly because they were getting hungry and must have thought that I looked enough like mom or dad that maybe I would offer them a free meal. I was focused on getting “the shot”, but it was hard while doubled-over laughing at the hilarious antics of the penguins hopping around, flapping their wings, and running into each other. I created this image using my Canon 5DmkIII, Canon 17-40mm f4 lens, Singh-Ray LB Warming polarizer & 2-stop Hard Graduated Neutral Density filter, and processed the RAW file using Aperture 3, Photoshop CS6, plus Nik Software’s Dfine 2.0 to remove noise & Color Efex 4‘s white balance filter.

Also, check out this image published in The Guardian.

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Salisbury Plain King Penguins 2

Salisbury Plain King Penguins 2

Aren’t these king penguins just adorable? I can not adequately describe how mind-blowing my visit was to Salisbury Plain during my South Georgia Island expedition this past October. After spending a week sailing in horrendous seas with terrible weather, I had finally arrived at my dream photography destination. Upon landing, most of the king penguins were somewhat skittish, but these guys walked right up to greet me! Oh, boy. It was cold, too. However, the fresh snow on the normally rocky beach helped make this already dramatic scene even more photogenic. In order to photograph this spectacle, I got down on my knees and used a wide-angle lens as these curious penguins inspected me. I created this image using my Canon 5DmkIII, Canon 17-40mm f4 lens, Singh-Ray LB Warming polarizer & 2-stop Hard Graduated Neutral Density filter, and processed the RAW file using Aperture 3, Photoshop CS6, plus Nik Software’s Dfine 2.0 to remove noise & Color Efex 4‘s white balance filter.

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