The Penguin Project
As someone who has explored the drama, the mood, and the abstraction of landscape, I haven’t spent as much time working with the animals that are in the environment.
During my time visiting the Antarctic, every landing had loads of penguins and other birds. Penguin colonies are irresistible (with the exception of the smell) and they accept a human presence quite easily.
Now that I have been in the less hectic environment of my studio, the penguins with their comic dignity, their stoic survival struggles, their social bonds, and apparent hierarchies have inspired me to go outside my normal genre to present a collection to the public.
The birds mostly ignore humans and go on about their business of nesting, feeding, breeding (and occasionally fighting). I captured a lot these animals’ images because I was there and it was exciting, but didn’t spend too much time on them while I produced my landscape exhibitions.
I have seen a number of species of penguins: Adélies with their black heads and beaks, Chinstraps—a descriptive moniker!—and the familiar orange-beaked Gentoos.
These birds live in large colonies in the islands and bays of the Antarctic peninsula. They are small and often comical, sliding down icy hills on their bellies, waddling and clumsy on land, yet powerful and graceful in the water.
They hunt in the sea for krill, small fishes, and squid; they emerge from the water cleansed of the droppings they collect from their nesting sites.
The stately Kings have large populations on South Georgia Island. They have silvery coats, yellow “ties” and head markings, and breed in giant colonies that are often mossy and muddy in the spring.
They live in harmony with the vicious and aggressive Fur Seals and the enormous Elephant Seals. I was astounded by South Georgia’s biomass (but a “little” anxious around the young, territorial Fur Seals).
The true grace and dignity of the Kings enchanted me. I remember telling my shipmates after my landing at South Georgia Island’s Salisbury Plain: “There are many important photographic experiences. Today was one of my most important life experiences.”
Half Moon Bay I, 2011, Antarctica
Half Moon Bay II, 2011, Antarctica
Petermann Island I, 2011, Antarctica
Petermann Island II, 2011, Antarctica
Rookery Panorama, 2012, Antarctica
Petermann Island III, 2012, Antarctica
Petermann Island IV, 2012, Antarctica
Petermann Island V, 2012, Antarctica
Petermann Island VI, 2012, Antarctica
Petermann Island VII, 2012, Antarctica
Petermann Island VIII, 2012, Antarctica
Petermann Island X, 2012, Antarctica
Petermann Island IX, 2012, Antarctica
The Bay, 2012, Antarctica
Blue Hour, 2012, Antarctica
Ice Dwellers, 2011, Antarctica
The Kiss, Deception Island, 2011, Antarctica
Courtship, 2013, Antarctica
Procession, 2013, Antarctica
Ropeline, 2011, Half Moon Bay, Antarctica
Against the Flow, 2013, Antarctica
Courtship II, 2013, Antarctica
Attitude, 2013, Couverville Island, Antarctica
Petermann Island XI, 2013, Antarctica
Chinstrap I, 2013, Antarctica
Chinstrap II, 2012, Antarctica
Altitude, 2014, Antarctica
Brown Bluff, Continental Landing, 2013, Antarctica
Adélies, Brown Bluff, Antarctic Continent, 2013, Antarctica
The Kiss, 2014, Salisbury Plain, South Georgia Island
Three Kings, 2014, South Georgia Island
Kings, Salisbury Plain I, 2014, South Georgia Island
Kings, Salisbury Plain II, 2014, South Georgia Island
Kings, Salisbury Plain III, 2014, South Georgia Island
King Chicks, 2014, Salisbury Plain, South Georgia Island
Family, 2014, Salisbury Plain, South Georgia Island
Molting Kings, 2014, South Georgia Island
Footwear, 2014, South Georgia Island
King Penguins with Seals, 2014, South Georgia Island
Beach Sunrise, 2014, Saint Andrew's Bay, South Georgia Island
Elephant Seal, 2014, Saint Andrew's Bay, South Georgia Island
King Chicks II, 2014, South Georgia Island
Saint Andrew's Bay, 2014, South Georgia Island
The Guards, 2014, Saint Andrew's Bay, South Georgia Island
South Georgia Island, 2014
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