Gentoo Family

A Gentoo Penguin family at their nest in Mikkelson Harbor.

A Gentoo Penguin family at their nest in Mikkelson Harbor.
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2 Comments | Report
Nostroboy PRO
Nostroboy June 09, 2018
Amazing comp !
Nostroboy PRO
Nostroboy June 09, 2018
Amazing comp !

Behind The Lens

This photo was taken at Mikkelson Harbor on the Antarctic Peninsula. Glacially-smoothed rocky islands like this make ideal nesting habitat for Antarctica's brushtail penguins because of the abundance of pebbles (which are used for building nests) and proximity to ocean, where the penguins fish for krill.
During the Antarctica trip, there were two excursions from the boat each day. This photo was taken toward the end of the morning expedition at around 10AM.
Only natural light is at play here.
This was taken with a Nikon D500 and Sigma 120-300mm zoom with 1.4X teleconverter.
It was still fairly early in the breeding season for the Gentoo Penguins, and there were not many older nestlings at this site. This family was one of the only ones with a chick large enough to do more than beg for food from under its parents' brood patches, so I made sure to spend some time watching the little one attempting to waddle and peep while standing with its parents.
I made basic color balance and contrast curve adjustments to the image and cropped it for composition.
In my camera bag
For the Antarctica trip, I packed a Nikon D500, a Sigma 120-300mm zoom, a Tamron 24-70mm zoom, a 1.4X teleconverter, a polarizing filter, a Joby sling strap, and a dry bag.
I recommend bringing a weather-sealed telephoto zoom for wildlife photography on the Antarctic Peninsula. Since Antarctic wildlife tends not to be afraid of people at fairly close ranges, a 100-400mm or 150-600mm is long enough for highly detailed closeups at the long end and shots with multiple subjects (like this photo) at the wide end. Changing lenses in the field there can result in some nasty sensor spots, so being able to zoom is handy.

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