September 23, 2021
Hit the Beach
- as seen by -Bill Klipp @wklipp
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.
Nikon D700 with Nikkor 24-120mm