An Island of Color

Kelp Gull (Larus dominicanus) on nest with Lichen, Antarctica

As I have mentioned in my previous Antarctic posts, we had blue skies in very short supply. And nothing is more demoralizing to a photographer than the complete absence of light and color : no glorious sunsets or beams of incandescent light. So you can imagine how delighted I was when I stumbled onto this scene, a lone gull nesting on a rock bejeweled with some of the most colorful lichens I have ever seen. (Skeptics among you may think I’ve exaggerated the color here. Not so: It is as accurate as I could make it..)

There was more color packed into that one square meter than I saw in an entire ten days in Antarctica, and made this picture irresistible. The nesting gull, and the looming peaks behind, were just gravy. Yes, I wish I had a little more contrast between the bird’s head and the snow behind, but putting the dark rock behind him unbalanced the composition. Not perfect? Maybe, but hey – I’ll take it…

Nikon D3 with 70-200 Nikkor lens.