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Falkland Islands Wildlife
  
 
mitesh
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Falkland Islands Wildlife


Congratulations to mitesh for winning Feature Thread of the Week with 18 votes - View Previous Winners


Happy New Year to my fellow FMers! Here's to a happy and prosperous 2017 for all

I recently returned from a two-week camping and photography trip to the Falkland Islands. I would like to thank my friend and FM standout Tin Man Lee for encouraging me to go, and for his advice which helped make the most of the trip. I spent 6 nights in Saunders Neck, and 6 nights in Volunteer Point. Had a few days washed out by weather, but still came back home with thousands of images.

This was my second photography specific trip. Like last year's trip to Haines, I had prepared a mental list of shots that I wanted to get, and ideas of how I wanted to use the light to give my images a specific look and feel. Unlike last year though, I am not very satisfied with my effort. I didn't shoot much in 2016, and the rust showed. I didn't get a lot of the shots I wanted to get, and I struggled to use my wide-angle effectively. Looking through the images, I see a lot of repetitive images over different days, and that tells me I wasn't thinking and seeing creatively. Too often, I was settling for the obvious images that presented themselves, instead of putting myself in position to get more unique images. If I was grading myself, I'd say I earned a "C" on this trip. It was a learning experience, for sure.

With that said, let's start off with an image from Volunteer Point. This particular evening, I had a feeling there would be a special sunset. There had been large clouds in the sky all day long, and as the sun headed towards the horizon, the color just exploded in all directions. I wanted a simple composition featuring the sky colors as the background, and penguins with very little foreground. I figured my best chance to get that would be to find a low vantage point and frame the Magellenic Penguins as they came back from the beach to their burrows.

Magellenic Penguins at sunset
Canon 1DX, 100-400 II




Next up is another image from Volunteer Point. Every morning, hundreds of penguins waddle down the "Penguin Highway" towards the beach to catch fish to bring back for their chicks. In doing so, they put themselves at great risk, as the waters are patrolled by predators such as Sea Lions. In a future set, I'll share some images of such an encounter. On this day, though, the penguins were safe. Here, Gentoo Penguins (with a few Magellenics thrown in for variety) pause for a group portrait before heading out to the ocean to fish.

Gentoo Penguins at sunrise
Canon 1DX, 100-400 II




The third image was taken at Saunders Neck. The Striated Caracara (or Johnny Rook, as the Falklanders refer to them) is a threatened species. Ever curious and with little fear of humans, they often approach to within arm's reach. In fact, one of them tried to fly off with my second camera when I set it down on the ground! Here, the Striated Caracara is foraging on the remains of a small crustacean on the beach.

Striated Caracara on the beach
Canon 1DX, 100-400 II




The fourth image also comes from Saunders Neck, and features a Magellenic Oystercatcher.

Magellenic Oystercatcher
Canon 1DX, 100-400 II




The fifth image is a Gentoo Penguin egg from the colony on Saunders Neck. The colony is home to an estimated 10,000 Gentoo Penguins, and certainly smells like it.

Gentoo egg
Canon 1DX, 100-400 II




The sixth image takes us back to Volunteer Point at sunrise. The purple skies are reflected in the water as it recedes back towards the surf. A Gentoo Penguin takes in the view before running and diving into the waves.

Gentoo Penguin at sunrise
Canon 1DX, 100-400 II




The penultimate image of this set comes from the King Penguin colony at Volunteer Point. Some 1500 pairs of this strikingly attractive penguin call this colony home. During the month of December, courtship rituals and mating can be seen. Here, a couple enjoy a tender moment together away from the din of the colony.

King Penguins courting
Canon 1DX, 100-400 II




Lastly, a reminder that the life of a penguin, like all wild animals, is fraught with danger. Here, Gentoo Penguins in the background look on helplessly as two Falkland Skuas savagely feast on their chick.

Gentoo Penguin chick lost to Skuas
Canon 1DX, 100-400



Edited on Jan 01, 2017 at 08:01 PM · View previous versions



Jan 01, 2017 at 05:12 AM
eyelaser
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Falkland Islands Wildlife


Wow, you are a tough grader Mitesh....I think these are wonderful and really capture the essence of those far off places. This was a wonderful way to start off the New Year...Happy New Year my friend and thanks for sharing your special images.
Eric



Jan 01, 2017 at 05:32 AM
Lotuselite
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Falkland Islands Wildlife


A lot of thought, time and effort put into those photos, well done.
The second shot stands out to me.



Jan 01, 2017 at 05:38 AM
kwilliam8
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Falkland Islands Wildlife


These are all very nice. The first image and the King Penguins are my favorites! Thanks for sharing these.
Keith W.



Jan 01, 2017 at 06:36 PM
canon.eos30d
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Falkland Islands Wildlife


Wow, beautiful images, Mitesh. You are so humble on grading yourself ;-). If I can see and get these images, I would be smiling ear to ear for months.
Can't wait to see more from your trip.

-Tam



Jan 01, 2017 at 07:52 PM
morris
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Falkland Islands Wildlife


Excelent set Mitesh!

Happy New Year,

Morris



Jan 01, 2017 at 08:12 PM
AGeoJO
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Falkland Islands Wildlife


Outstanding images, Mitesh! It looks like that trip yielded a lot of keepers for you. Happy New Year to you, too!

Joshua



Jan 01, 2017 at 08:17 PM
LuckyStrike
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Falkland Islands Wildlife


What an awesome set and so interesting to read the details!!

Have a great 2017

LuckyT




Jan 01, 2017 at 08:24 PM
marklankton
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Falkland Islands Wildlife


Outstanding images, many thanks for showing them. It sounds like a great trip.
Mark



Jan 01, 2017 at 10:54 PM
baumgarten0712
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Falkland Islands Wildlife


Absolutely tremendous images! Striated Caracara on the beach is my favorite.
Karl



Jan 01, 2017 at 11:07 PM
 

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tshore
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Falkland Islands Wildlife


Wonderful set! Really nice. Sounds like a great trip. Thanks for posting.


Jan 02, 2017 at 12:05 AM
dclark
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Falkland Islands Wildlife


Your collection is excellent! I really appreciate your effort to give a lot information on how and where you got the images. Very helpful.

Dave



Jan 02, 2017 at 12:40 AM
kmunroe
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Falkland Islands Wildlife


very nice images Mitesh


Jan 02, 2017 at 12:46 AM
jwalker
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Falkland Islands Wildlife


Really nice work!


Jan 02, 2017 at 12:55 AM
DonGut
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Falkland Islands Wildlife


Happy to you!
Some fine images and I'm sure you have more.
Falklands is a special place. I have been there several times and I'm thinking about a return trip. Your images make me want to start planning.
You selected 2 excellent places to visit for sure. If you return then I have several suggestions of some other places including Sea Lion Island, and if possible, Jason Steeple.
I am looking forward to more, including those albatrosses and rock hoppers and cormorants.
BTW I really like #1 and 2 and of course anything with a king penguin in it.
Don



Jan 02, 2017 at 01:15 AM
surfnron
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Falkland Islands Wildlife


You are tough on yourself Mitesh, (as I think we all should be). All of these are well done, but the first two are unique as well as very well done. 6 and 7 also stand out ~ Ron


Jan 02, 2017 at 02:43 AM
Thao_Nguyen
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Falkland Islands Wildlife


Stunning images - It's hard to choose the favorites - I like them all -
Gorgeous!!!!!



Jan 02, 2017 at 03:06 AM
mikedec
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Falkland Islands Wildlife


Beautiful shots, sure makes we want to go.


Jan 02, 2017 at 04:35 AM
kdacharya
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Falkland Islands Wildlife


Miteshbhai,
Kamal kar ditta tusi (or in English, what an amazing job)
Love the light and honestly the composition is excellent. thanks for sharing.

Edited on Jan 02, 2017 at 10:44 PM · View previous versions



Jan 02, 2017 at 04:48 AM
MedicineMan404
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Falkland Islands Wildlife


Simply outstanding each and every one. We're lucky you share such work with us!


Jan 02, 2017 at 05:11 AM
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