Chinstrap penguins at Half Moon Island. Photo by Stephen Porder.

Months ago, when I was Googling things like “Antarctica photography tips” and “how to photograph penguins,” I remember reading an interesting piece of advice: Let the penguin come to you. Penguins tend to be curious and unafraid, and sometimes if you sit still, one of them may come up close to you.

One of my colleagues on our just-completed Antarctic trip practiced a variant of that approach at Half Moon Island, and got some terrific images as a result. Stephen Porder was the lecturer accompanying the Brown University contingent (he’s a faculty member at Brown), and brought his 12-year-old daughter along on the trip. Toward the end of our visit to Half Moon Island—site of a large colony of chinstrap penguins—Stephen and his daughter decided to head down the hill from the penguin colony and just hang out for a while at the beach, where a few stray chinstraps were bathing. That’s where he got the photo of the chinstrap pair at the top of this page. Then he shot the sequence of six images below, showing a single chinstrap swimming in the shallow water, emerging from the water, and shaking itself off just a few feet away from him.

Really sweet images, and unlike any others I’ve seen from the trip. Nice work, Stephen. I’m jealous!

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