My photos: Accessible, crafted, dynamic.
Barney Britton: Article updated with smaller watermarks - thanks Eric for supplying new versions of the pictures.
marike6: Beautiful images of some of my favorite critters. Penguins are fascinating creatures and you've captured them, and the other arctic wildlife thriving in their natural habitats, extremely well.
The watermark? It's not such a big deal. With such a terrific set, that are the result of an extraordinary commitment and effort on your part, it is better to play it safe and protect your images.
By the way, the 70-400 performed so well do you think the new G2 version is in your future? It's such a useful zoom range it makes me wish the new Nikon 80-400 VR had a more sane price tag in line with the Sony 70-400 G and G2.
Anyway, great job and thanks for the inspiring images and article.
Thanks for the kind words Marike - I have thought about the 70-400 G2. It certainly would be useful to have a fully weather sealed kit. I'm also intrigued by the Sigma 50-500, which Roger Cicala over at LensRentals.com rates very highly as well.
GreeneOH: There may be some great photos here, but I find the watermarks so obtrusive that I can't really tell. I understand that pros are sensitive about protecting their work, but if you're going to write a public article emphasizing photography seems a shame to vandalize the photos to this extent.
Some fair points here. I'm working on reducing the size of the watermark. Piracy is better than obscurity, I suppose.
JimmyMelbourne: Congratulations Eric Lew, its all about the photographer but i am one happy Sony a77 owner seeing your work. simply brilliant.
Thanks Jimmy - glad to see another user of an a77. I think it's a highly underrated camera.
white tea: I assume those 4 on the picture above are Penguins of Madagascar, aren't they?
Nope - those are king penguins in South Georgia.
rondom: Hi, i just want to say this: what Adobe is planning to do with their software pricing policy is outrageous. Penguins? What penguins?
I love penguins and Adobe products :).
RStyga: Superb Shots, Eric. Yes, the copyright is intrusive but, again, it's your work and we can still imagine the photo without it. If someone is dying to see a photo without the copyright I guess he/she can buy a copy from you! Impressive shots, again.
Thanks for the comment RStyga. I think their are valid points on both sides, but ultimately I decided to reduce the watermark size. The new images should go live today or tmr. Ultimately, piracy is better than obscurity IMO :).
ChuckB: Excellent article and photos. I have just returned from an Antarctic trip and agree with almost everything you said, but......
You had a lot of opportunities I didn't, because I took a regularly scheduled trip instead of a custom private trip. The Petrel and stars photos (cool!) was not an opportunity I had - we were on board ship at night. Same goes for sunrise and sunset - on board, not on shore. Also, one of the photos ops you missed because it required super-quick reaction time? All our excursions were scheduled, not opportunistic. So, photo enthusiasts should be aware of the limitations of the trips they choose.
Exposure: I used a Sony A580 and A55, shooting raw. Maybe I was lucky, but there was not a single one of my shots with blown highlights. I typically shot aperture-preferred to get the sharpest photos, and let exposure take care of itself with auto-ISO. Editing in LR I was always able to recover any highlights. Go figure.
Thanks for the reply Chuck. Yes, it was incredibly fortunate to have the private charter, and I think this was definitely a once-in-a-lifetime trip! I've always found Sony cameras (I had an a200, a700, a850, and NEX7, in addition to my A77), err on the side of underexposure and preserving highlights. So much so that I generally set my camera on +0.3EV when shooting on aperture priority.
Alan C. Tigner: I spent seven days traveling and landing along the north coast of South Georgia last November on a Quark expedition. I can attest to the descriptions of the spectacular landscape and abundant wildlife. This was my first trip "off the grid" and I will cherish the memories for the rest of my life. We were early in the season and witnessed some spectacular bouts between bull elephant seals protecting their harems. In addition, the king penguins and their chicks were plentiful. Of note, we also saw the last oof the South Georgia reindeer that were scheduled culled from the island as summer came to an end.
This was a South Georgia only trip so I guess I'll have to go again to set foot on Antarctica.
Thanks Alan - we were traveling in the middle of the culling actually. We saw lots of corpses getting eaten by skuas and petrels. The science team removed most of the meat and just left the skin and digestive systems, which apparently the skuas mostly avoid anyway. I was sad not to have gotten to see any of the big elephant seals fights; they sound spectacular!
tlinn: What outfitter did you travel with? Was the expedition photo-centric?
The trip was a privately chartered expedition organized by Stewart McPherson, a professional naturalist!
Thanks for reading all! I think it is a fair point about the watermarks. I'm working on downsizing them now.