July 16, 2017

Young King Penguin, Gold Harbour, South Georgia.
Canon EOS 5DSR, EF200-400mm f/4L IS USM EXT, 1/400 second @ f5.6, ISO 100


When you travel to Antarctica and South Georgia, one guarantee can be made: you will see penguins and lots of them!


In terms of photography, a rookery of penguins makes a great composition because of the incredible repetition of shapes. Standing, on nests, young near old - there are lots of variations and all you really need is a standard lens to capture it.


However, whether penguins or giraffes, there's a part of me that likes to photograph parts of animals. Sometimes they make interesting geometric shapes, sometimes it's just a tail or some wing feathers that make the photograph.


The lead image is the back of a young King Penguin. The tiny white feathers are possibly not from this penguin, but picked up from others. There have been occasions in Antarctica when it looked like it was snowing there were so many feathers in the air.


To take these photos, you need a long telephoto lens. A lot of these were taken with a 560mm or 600mm lens and both Sigma and Tamron make super zooms that reach out to 600mm for not too much money. Canon, Nikon and Fujifilm all have 100-400mm zooms which are reasonably priced when you compare them with the f2.8 and f4 super telephoto lenses. So, there are ways to get super telephoto performance without super high prices.


If I were going to Antarctica, I'd take the longest zoom I could, just for photos like these!


And funny I should mention that because I have a photo tour going to Antarctica in December 2018 (back for Christmas) with Aurora Expeditions. And there's a 15% discount offer on some berths if you book before 30 September this year, so if this is sounding like you, visit the website and have a look here.

And here are a few more penguin parts…


Some additional penguin parts.


And if you're interested in a photography workshop in the next 12 months or so, I have places left on trips going to Bhutan, South West USA and the Silk Road. Full details on the Better Photography website!


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