How To Photograph a Penguin

Posted by on March 7th, 2019

Penguins are everyone’s favorite polar (and Galapagos!) waddler, and it’s only natural to snap 10,000 pictures of every little adorable thing they do (which, to let you know where I stand on this topic, is everything!).

I think it’s safe to say that few of us have not been guilty of shutter-happy fingers in the presence of penguins. As cute as penguins are, very few of us are going to go back and revisit all those penguin pictures down the road, so I’ve come up with a few easy tips for saving precious SD card space, cutting down on post-trip photo editing, and really maximizing angles for the keepsake-worthy shot.

1. Photograph penguins interacting with each other.
Parents feeding their chicks, siblings holding hands, traffic jams on penguin highways, and couples bowing to each other will all be more memorable than a penguin profile.

2. Action shots.
Capture the penguin transferring pebbles to make a nest, walking mid-step, diving into the water, and jumping through the sea. Remember to use high shutter speeds for penguins swimming and porpoising – they move fast!

3. Take video.
Short clips are all the better to relive the penguins’ clumsily adorable movements on land, contrasted by their grace in the water. It also makes capturing the exact right moment much less critical.

4. Bonus.
Bring along a penguin suit and be a penguin!

Also remember to step back, take a break from the viewfinder, and be present in the moment. Antarctica is well worth absorbing.

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