On the Way Home With My Favorite Flying Penguin Image–Yes, I Said Flying Penguin! « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

On the Way Home With My Favorite Flying Penguin Image--Yes, I Said Flying Penguin!

What’s Up?

It was 9:02am local time on Friday, January 9, 2015 when I began this blog post. After 25 days at sea on what turned out (as expected) to be a great Cheesemans’ Southern Oceans expedition, I am in an internet cafe in Ushuaia, Argentina. I fly this afternoon to Buenos Aires and then grab a red eye flight to Atlanta. From there it will be on to Orlando. I am scheduled to arrive at MCO at 9:21am on Saturday morning where I am hoping that my older daughter Jennifer will pick me up.

Thanks to those who continued to visit the blog during my extended absence. There will be a slew of great new images and lessons coming soon. Sunday will be just my fourth full day at home since 12 NOV. I can’t wait to get back into the pool.

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This image was created on a zodiac cruise at Danco Harbor on the afternoon of Monday, January 5, 2015 with the hand held Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens, the Canon Extender EF 1.4X III (at 280mm), and the Canon EOS 7D Mark II. ISO 800. Evaluative metering +2 stops off the ice: 1/4000 sec. at f/4 in Manual mode.

Central sensor/AI Servo (Single Point-Manually Selected) Rear Focus AF on bird’s back (as originally framed) was active at the moment of exposure. Click here to see the latest version of the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Yes, I Said Flying Penguin!

After a nice hike up a pretty good snow-covered hill I spend an hour photographing several quite scenic Gentoo Penguin colonies. After I made my way back to the landing I began hearing fantastical tales of a huge feeding/bathing aggregation of Gentoos with dozens of birds jumping in and out of the water. I hustled to get on a Zodiac with only 4 other photographers.

Note that the set-up that I used to create the image above gave me an equivalent focal length of 448mm (280mm X 1.6). The image that opened this blog post is about a 20% crop. The action was so frantic that just before I created this image I remember thinking that with the severe lactic acid pain in both shoulder blades I could not possibly keep holding the lens up to photograph. Fortunately I persisted. As I have said here often my persistence often plays a huge part of any success that I might enjoy.

It turned out to be the last of the many incredible and memorable experiences of the trip as we were blown out of landing at the beyond-spectacular Bailey head the next morning. Can you say “Force 11 Gale (with winds in excess of 60 knots)”? As a nice tradeoff, the feared Drake Passage was pretty much a lake cruise; we enjoyed calm seas and some good flight photography from the stern of the Ortelius on DAY 1 of our crossing.


This image was created with the hand held Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM lens (at 23mm) and the Canon EOS 7D Mark II . ISO 400. Evaluative metering +2 1/3 stops off the white sky: 1/400 sec at f/9.

The 7D II Wide Angle Lens

The image above gives you just a taste of the wondrous penguin events of 5 January. All set in an incredibly beautiful Antarctic landscape.

The Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS turned out to be the prefect running mate for the 7D II with its 1.6X crop factor. I was often way too tight with the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II. The math for the 16-35 works out to 25.6 to 56mm of coverage. For the image above, it was just wide enough. I will be publishing lots more wide angle images created with the 7D II/16-35mm IS combo in the near future. If you were inspired to add this lens to your gear bag because of what you read here on the blog please remember to make your purchase with one of our B&H affiliate links. And please remember: web orders only/no phone orders.


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