How BAD can it get?

I wanted to explain today how it works if you want to photograph penguins. This is what happens.

1) Sit down (or lie down if you are younger than I am)

2) Wait.

3) Penguins will come and say hello.AJH and pengunsThat is how difficult it is.  And yes that is indeed me with 2 of my chums. What you can’t do is find a penguin and walk up to it and say “do you mind if I take your photograph?”  Well, I guess if you are more than 5m away you can shout and use a longer lens but the chances are the Ps are going to form a Q to come and chat anyway. As you can see, you need to be a very accomplished photographer with advanced fieldcraft to master this technique.

Some of the locals get a bit overwhelmed at all the attention.

ExhaustionPerhaps a little too much vino collapso with lunch? So what is today’s bird? We must have a proper bird. Not a penguin. Well today’s choice is (I hope) White-chinned Petrel. I have no idea where I took this. I suspect it was on the crossing from The Falklands to South Georgia  but I’m not sure. And whenever it was and for that matter whatever it is it is certainly a high octane petrel. Going like the proverbial wind.WhitechinnedPetrel2If I haven’t convinced you to go South by now, I never will. But if you still need an extra incentive, this could be you:


Alas poor Hannes….





18 thoughts on “How BAD can it get?

  1. The photo of Hannes with the bird on his head is a beaut. I also like the high octane petrel. Perfect timing with super sharp focus. My top choice is photo number one. Priceless, with the penquins approaching. I’m wondering what you were thinking as you photographed the pair. I think those are King penquins and I hope I have that right, They are quite similiar to the Emperor which is larger.

    From reading, I learned that the King is not found on pack ice. There was no ice that I could determine in that pic. In fact there was a long tuft of something brown, maybe seaweed to the left in the pic. I always look at the terrain to see what sort of environment is preferred by any wildlife. This series is most enjoyable.

  2. I’m still laughing at the penguins. They look like little kids on vacation, posing together while their parents take pictures. All the pictures–and your details–are excellent, Andrew, but my sympathies to Hannes. Birds have sharp claws, and that’s just a stocking cap.

  3. Oh, what I’d give to have the chance to head to the real Down Under! I’ve watched the research vessel Aurora Australis depart from Hobart, Tasmania, on their way to Antarctica.
    I’d happily put myself in Hannes position, provided no injuries occurred.
    What a great Antarctica series this has been!

    • We saw the Aurora Australis on TV last night. It looked very similar to the ship we were on if I remember correctly. About 100 pax is ideal – big ships are not allowed to do lanbd excursions so the P&O cruises are not so much fun. Hannes was unharmed and laughed afterwards. In my archives for Jan & Feb 2013 you will see the original Antarctic posts. I’m wondering how I can rustle up the money to go again.

  4. I shall continue to enjoy my holiday here with you Andrew, via my PC Monitor, ’tis much cheaper, warmer and I can see all the wildlife through your eyes, and on Hannes’s head. 😉 (Do we say a Eulogy for Hannes? Ah poor Hannes Wearing t’rock jumper hat, a birdie landed on his head, an’ that was that!! Sorry!!) Blame the three coffee’s I’ve had this morning. xPenx

  5. I’ve been down ” sarf” as they say. Had the great pleasure to spend several months in the Falklands. Did a lot of photography but all in film and at the time limited to a 150mm lens.

  6. I think $50US and the cold temps will leave me happily going south vicariously through your blog.

    Penguin technique looks like monkey technique. Do penguins raid rubbish bins and attack you for plastic bags?

    The high octane is def five star.

    • Penguins do not raid rubbish bins (there aren’t any) and they don’t attack you for plastic bags. They ask you to bring reusable cotton bags. Full of fish. Then they attack.

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