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Antarctic Peninsula

Updated: Apr 20, 2022

Why a Wonder: A never-ending sea of blue-and-white icebergs in all sizes, shapes and forms make the Antarctic Peninsula a landscape photographer’s paradise. Penguins (chinstrap, gentoo and Adélie) and sea birds (albatrosses, petrels, cormorants, skuas, gulls, terns and prions) make this location a dream-come-true for wildlife photographers.

Where: South Atlantic Ocean, near the top of the Antarctica Circle.

When: The local summer months of November through January.

Photography: With wide-angle and telephoto zoom lenses, you can get beautiful seascape photographs from the deck of your expedition ship. However, you’ll get more “sense of place” photographs, that is seascape photographs with foreground elements, when you photograph with a wide-angle zoom from a Zodiac (small inflatable rubber boat). For many, the Zodiac tours are the highlight of the trip.

On land, it’s not allowed to get closer than 15 feet to any animal, but the animals often come very close to photographers. Therefore, you may get wonderful wildlife photographs with a wide-angle zoom lens.

When photographing dark subject (penguins) against bright backgrounds (snow), it’s important to check your exposures to make sure the highlights are not overexposed and washed out.

Pack a polarizing filter to reduce glare on water and ice, and to darken a blue sky.

From your expedition ship, you’ll be making wet-landing (wearing rubber boots) in a Zodiac (inflatable boat). Packing your camera gear in a waterproof backpack or backpack with a rain cover will protect it from splashes. Also bring a lens cleaning cloth to wipe off salt spray.

For environmental reasons, you can’t put your camera bag down on the ground. So be prepared to change lenses while standing up. Photographing with a friend/assistant is a good idea.

Learn More: Check out this “Storytelling in Antarctica” video.

© Rick Sammon

This post sponsored by Delkin Devices.

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