I rarely participate in photo contests anymore because I have had little time to break the camera out. This trip has given me the opportunity to dust the rust on my photography off and then some. Before leaving, the theme for S2Ki’s October photo contest was announced: Our Feathered Friends. I had to enter. I wanted to challenge myself by not shooting a penguin in a beautiful landscape, but a bird in flight that could compete against anything from anywhere in the world.
It came down to a few different photos. I have one of a Black-Browed Albatross flying over orange waves reflecting sunset, but figured nobody would understand the significance of an Albatross. I ruled all Albatross shots out except this one:
It remained in the top three. But it was another of those shots people wouldn’t understand without seeing these birds in person.
At the beginning of the trip someone mentioned something about how nasty Skuas are, and one of the staff said “they have cute chicks too.” At that moment I decided I was going to have at least one photo of a Skua and Sheath Bill (another nasty Antarctic bird) that made them look good. I caught some Skuas bathing in a pond and snapped this shot:
Then I caught some Sheath Bills standing in a row just staring at me and got this one:
I decided nobody would understand what Skuas or Sheath Bills were either. I should clarify “understand” as I mean it to be something a picture can tell – not something I can tell with words.
Anyway, I decided to enter this Antarctic Tern into the photo contest.
I shot this guy from a moving Zodiac with my 300mm lens. There is absolutely zero Photoshop work done to it aside from a RAW conversion. I’m still shocked I got this shot. These guys skoot around like humming birds and to add the zodiac to the equation makes me super lucky to have pulled it off.
If I win the contest, I get to choose November’s theme and judge the contest. Nothing special – no prizes or anything like that.