European Visions…and Antarctica

Adult King Penguin with chicks, South Georgia

If you're guessing that the penguins in this photo are not in Europe, you'd be right. But I am, however...just heading home today from a meeting of the GDT, The Society of German Nature Photography, where I gave a talk on my work documenting endangered species.  As always, it was an inspiring event. Personally,  I feel that  European photographers have - and this is admittedly a gross generalization - a uniquely refined, even poetic, style.  Some of the best work I saw was also the most deceptively simple, with elegant compositions of flowers, grasses and insects.  Simply said, the "euro-style" tends to ignore our obsession with sharpness and detail in favor of light, composition and...a certain mystery.  Yes, they tend to prefer everything blurry which, in itself, is a kind of obsession, but one that views photography as an interpretive form rather than simply a documentary one.
Anyhow, I came away inspired to broaden my own visual vocabulary, and that's a gift. I suggest you have a look at some of the work here:  GDT - they should be posting the results soon for their 2010 "European Photographer of the Year" competition.

Meanwhile, back to the penguins. This shot, of an adult penguin lost in a sea of furry chicks, is one I took on South Georgia a couple of years ago. Happily, I have a chance to go back next week, as the NatGeo lecturer on the NG Explorer. Maybe this time, I will try this shot again, only blurry!

Nikon D3 with 70-200mm lens

4 Comments

    That is a great shot!! Wow.

    How many did you take before he was looking directly at the camera, I wonder? 🙂

    Well worth your persistence..

    Hi Chandira,

    You are right : I took a lot of frames before he turned his head right towards me – and made the composition work. The best pictures always take time, thought…and luck. Thanks for your comments!

    I did wonder, if that was a first time shot you got VERY lucky! It’s probably one of my favourite shots on this site, it just really makes me smile. 🙂

    That’s why I love digital so much, take 100, delete 95. I am working at getting those odds way down, and taking more good shots per 100, but it’s a blessing to be able to take so many and do that.

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