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Legendary Photos: The Stories Behind 7 of Art Wolfe’s Iconic Images

Nature photographer discusses his classic shots

Photo of penguins by Art Wolfe

Gentoo penguins on an iceberg float, Antarctica

Often my favorite shots are serendipitous and this image of Gentoo penguins on an iceberg is one of those cases. Here along the Antarctic Peninsula, Gentoos live on just a few islands. As we approached slowly in a Zodiac there were several penguins sitting and standing on the iceberg, and I remember thinking to myself that it would really be cool if there were just one or two. As if on cue, three of them dove into the water. I expected the others to follow, but they stayed as if reading my mind.

To me these little penguins on this little chunk of ice became a metaphor for dwindling ice packs throughout the world. I wanted to show the enormity of the penguins’ world, so I chose to use a wide-angle lens. The deeper gray of the sky also brings out the deep blue hues of the icebergs in the distance. On sunny days the opposite is true; the brighter sky diminishes the color of the ice.

I shot this with the Canon EOS 5D Mark II and EF16-35mm f/2.8L II USM lens at f/13 for 1/400 second, ISO 400.

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