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Hit the Beach

September 23, 2021

Hit the Beach

- as seen by -

Bill Klipp Bill Klipp

As our zodiac made its way to the shoreline, it was clear from the sounds and smells that we were approaching one of the largest king penguin (Aptenodytes patagonicus) colonies on the planet.

Once we nudged up onto the shore, I leapt out into the shallow near-freezing water and made my way onto the beach of Salisbury Plain of South Georgia Island. I came armed with two camera bodies – one with a wide-angle lens, the other with a medium telephoto.

Everywhere I looked I saw an endless array of photographic opportunities – giant southern elephant seals and fur seals lined the beach as far as I could see. And there were king penguins numbering well over 100,000 animals.

It was early morning on this beautiful day with gorgeous clear blue skies, puffy white clouds, and penguins everywhere. My initial focus (pun intended) was to use my wide-angle lens for some ground level shots of the kings as they emerged from the surf onto the beach. The challenge was to try and make sense out of the chaos by capturing images of isolated animals as well as groups. My hope with this particular image was to give a sense of movement, the density of animals, and to capture some classic penguin behaviors as they hit the beach.

In a short three-hour period, I took nearly 1,000 photos.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This photo was chosen as the top submission for Wild View’s Make a Splash. Congratulations! Enter our new assignment, Fall Colors, celebrating the seasonal change.

Nikon D700 with Nikkor 24-120mm

, South Georgia Island Map It


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Kenneth Conley
September 24, 2021 at 7:46 am

Amazing shot and great write up! I think you nailed your goal and I can’t get over how in the same image, these animals can convey such human qualities while retaining their natural beauty and inspiring awe – would love to see some more of those 1000 images!!