Order calendars via zakshawphotography@gmail.com or the secure Paypal option below.

Order calendars via zakshawphotography@gmail.com or the secure Paypal option below.
My 2014 calendar was entirely photographed on the western side of New Zealand's Southern Alps. "Land in the West" is printed at a size of A4 with twelve calendar month pages displaying stunning outdoor environment photographs. Take a look at my Facebook page to view all twelve 2014 calendar images! Order here via Paypal or email me at zakshawphotography@gmail.com if you would prefer to pay with online banking. Thanks for your support!
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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Antarctica 2011/12 - Zak Shaw Photography

Photography from a kayak is a challenge but it also offers a unique perspective.
Image - Borris Kester

King Penguins numbering around 60,000 breeding pairs congregate at Salisbury Plain. 

That was the best Antarctic season I've had! Anyone lucky enough to go once doesn't have the privileged position of comparing one visit to the next. My polar environment work is often overwhelmingly stunning and reminders of how good life is are frequent.
Upon returning home I've been considering why this recent visit was so powerful and is having such a profound effect. Images speak louder than words, its in the pictures.

Paddling in brash ice, kind of like sea kayakers candy...
Image - Borris Kester

Cape Disappointment - dramatic lighting bursting through dark storms clouds over South Georgia's most southwest extremity.

 Elephant Seal "weaner" In this image I used a Nikon 2.8 17-55mm lense. As much as I could I focused on the seals whiskers with a very shallow depth of field. I wanted the whiskers to stand out and have great definition.

 On my first visit into Antarctic sound a katabatic wind kicked up violently and plastered the ship precariously on edge. The pressure driven wind speed peaked at 96 knots/hr. Waves reached heights of 2m and the volcanic rock of "Brown Bluff" added scale to an intense scene.

"I prefer the belly-flop" With patience, predicting the moment and luck I managed to capture this image of an Adelie penguin mid flight.

Night light - Stay up late and get up early. The key to photographing fantastic lighting conditions is to burn the candle at both ends!

Fantastic evening light helped me land this image of a Striated Caracara. I wasn't really interested in the beach behind the bird so I overexposed the image. This burns out the background giving the body good separation from the sand. What I was most stoked about was that the talons are displayed mid-stride.

Switching to monocrome I wanted to show a dark roof over the ocean. The dark areas of the shot close down the viewers perspective of rugged gloomy mountains.

Orca in hunting mode!

Cape Renard panorama.

A very rare sighting - Tale fluke, Southern Right Whale

Lemaire channel mirror reflection

To capture this image I set my camera up early. From a distance of 30m away I paddled silently towards this Imperial Cormorant. The water was so calm that I made no sound. At a distance of 10m I stopped taking strokes and drifted in close. The oil slick texture on the waters surface is interesting with the blue ring of the eye giving the image a bright focal point.

Penguin muncher - why what fine teeth you have!
Distance to leopard seal = 3m

Humpback whale - Gerlache Strait - Antarctica

Imperial Cormorant - New island - West Falklands
I was getting tired of waiting but eventually the Cormorant turned into the light. This was the single best image out of more than fifty attempts.

Bailey Head is the single largest Chinstrap colony in the Antarctic. 100,000 breeding pairs use the surf beach to access their breeding and feeding grounds. Standing on the wave line I leaned heavily on my tripod pushing it down into the sand as the waves rushed in. A deliberate slow shutter speed blurs the waves and birds and gives the image movement.

Slow shutter image of Chinstrap penguins in the surf-zone 1/15 sec at f/29

Cape Renard wind squall. Violent winds ripped down from the surrounding peaks tearing up the surface of the water.

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