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King Penguin Colony

King Penguin Colony
Photo Information
Copyright: James Parker (Jamesp) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2002-01
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 1vHS, Canon 24-70 mm f 2,8 L-USM
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Joe's Favourites 2, Penguins in the Wild, TN Favourites [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-07-14 10:26
Viewed: 6719
Favorites: 2 [view]
Points: 66
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
It feels really odd posting penguins under the UK, but South Georgia is still owned by the UK.

South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands (SGSSI) is a British overseas territory in the southern Atlantic Ocean. It is a remote and inhospitable collection of islands, consisting of South Georgia – which measures approximately 106 miles (170 km) by 18 miles (29 km) and is by far the largest island in the territory – and a chain of smaller islands known as the South Sandwich Islands lying about 400 miles to the south-east.

There is no native population on any of the islands, and the only present inhabitants are the British Government Officer, Deputy Postmaster, scientists, and support staff from the British Antarctic Survey who maintain scientific bases at Bird Island and at the capital, King Edward Point, as well as museum staff at nearby Grytviken.

The British claim to sovereignty of South Georgia dates from 1775, and that of the South Sandwich Islands from 1908. The territory of "South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands" was formed in 1985; previously it had been governed as part of the Falkland Islands Dependencies. Argentina claimed South Georgia in 1927, and the South Sandwich Islands in 1938. Argentina maintained a naval station, Corbeta Uruguay, at Port Faraday on Thule Island in the South Sandwich Islands from 1976 until 1982 when it was closed by the Royal Navy. The Argentine claim over South Georgia contributed to the 1982 Falklands War, during which Argentine forces briefly occupied the Island, and remains unresolved to this day.

The Island of South Georgia is said to have been first sighted in 1675 by Anthony de la Roché, a London merchant, and was named Roche Island on some early maps, Pepys Island on others. It was sighted by a commercial Spanish ship named León operating out of Saint-Malo on 28 June or 29 June 1756, and in 1775 by Captain James Cook, who, after dismissing his find as "not worth the discovery", went on to survey and map the island, make the first landing, claim the territory for the Kingdom of Great Britain, and name it "the Isle of Georgia" in honour of King George III. British arrangements for the government of South Georgia were first established under the 1843 British Letters Patent.

In 1882 a German expedition sent out to observe the transit of Venus was stationed at Royal Bay on the south-east side of the island.

Throughout the 19th century South Georgia was a sealers' base and, in the following century, a whalers' base until whaling ended in the 1960s. The first land-based whaling station, and first permanent habitation, was established at Grytviken in 1904 by Norwegian Carl Anton Larsen. It operated through his Argentine Fishing Company, which settled in Grytviken. The station remained in operation until 1965.

Whaling stations operated under leases granted by the (British) Governor of the Falkland Islands. The seven stations, all on the north coast with its sheltered harbours were, starting from the west:

1. Prince Olav Harbour (from 1911-1916 factory ship and small station, land-based station 1917–1931)
2. Leith Harbour (1909–1965)
3. Stromness (from 1907 factory ship, land-based station 1913–1931, repair yard to 1960/1961)
4. Husvik (from 1907 factory ship, land-based station 1910–1960, not in operation 1930–1945)
5. Grytviken (1904–1964)
6. odthul (1908–1929, only a rudimentary land base, main operations on factory ship)
7. Ocean Harbour (1909–1920)

With the end of the whaling industry the stations were abandoned. Apart from a few preserved buildings such as the museum and church at Grytviken, only their decaying remains survive.

gerbilratz, vanderschelden, SelenE, boreocypriensis, jaycee, nglen, Hil, rousettus, cataclysta, Luis52, CeltickRanger, gracious, Heaven, iris, Argus, haraprasan, uleko, maurydv, mayuresh, goldyrs, rcrick, ramthakur, zulfu, Evelynn, jtkerb has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To gerbilratz: Probably NotJamesp 2 07-14 11:04
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Critiques [Translate]

Hello James, stunning picture, those mountains are special, the penguins look amazing in there downy feathers... is the mountain on the horizon the area of glaciation that Shackleton crossed?... (I think the SAS/Marines did roughly the same thing during the Falklands conflict..)
I would appreciate it if you could inform me...

regards h

Well done, James.
Almost science fiction.
Awesome content.

  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2008-07-14 10:35]

Hi James,
It is heaven! Would love to be there now... Beautiful photo with a great scene. POV, DOF and composition are very good. TFS
Best wishes,

Hi James
What a glorious shot in both a landscape and this huge King Penguin Colony. Superb shot my friend! Thanks for sharing this.
Warm regards and best wishes,


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  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-07-14 10:52]

Hi James,

I cannot imagine seeing this scene with my own eyes! A perfect capture of all these penguins in a most beautiful setting. The snow and clouds on the mountains are beautiful. And the penguins - all I can say is WOW!


amazing capture, TFS Ori

Hello James
Yup..This is the nuts!!
Enough Said

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  • joska Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 806 W: 0 N: 4092] (22535)
  • [2008-07-14 11:04]

like one scene from the Film Happy Feet! Fantastic shoot!

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-07-14 11:11]

Hi James. A first class pictures that has the lot. TFS. good notes too.

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  • Hil Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 696 W: 13 N: 1407] (5035)
  • [2008-07-14 12:16]

Hi James,

Fabulous shot of the Penguin colony set against the wonderful mountain backdrop.
I just love the way they just stand around looking about.

So how many are they?


Hello James,
wonderful capture from other side of the world. You captured and presented this crowded large colony of the penguins. wonderful scene. composition, colors, POV and focus excellent. Congratulations indeed. Thanks. Ahmet

Hi James, Amazing picture and very scientific ....Well done amazing look...Kind regards, Leyla

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  • Luis52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1175 W: 8 N: 4240] (15809)
  • [2008-07-14 15:04]

Hola James.
Wow. a lot o Penguins together, looks like the food is for free here. Excellent image My friend. I like the pose and the mountains in the back with the snow.

hello James

what a wonderful image of this colony of King Penguins
and in the same time great landscape shot with the mountains at the back,
fine POV & DOF, excellent sharpness & details, TFS


That is a lot of penguins!! It is really an interesting shot. One normally expects snow and ice and this is so different. I really like it. Nice sharpness and color...

Evelynn : )

I want to thank you heartedly for this outstanding photo that sharing with us all, without your effort, we will never see such beauty of nature that exist! never see so many Penguins in my life and as my wife, she is sending her thanks as well to you!
we both enjoyed it so much with our appreciation!
James, you are a great photographer and explorer in this site!
thank you for the notes as well
greeting and regards from NZ

  • Great 
  • Heaven Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 996 W: 123 N: 2341] (7912)
  • [2008-07-14 22:03]

Hello James!

The thumbnail doesn't tell much, the opened picture a whole story! It's phantastic, somehow surreal, at least surprising. The number of penguins here is incredible and the strange effect is highlighted by a dark atmosphere.

Well seen, well done!

Kind regards


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  • efsus Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 415 W: 11 N: 843] (3947)
  • [2008-07-15 1:40]

Merhaba James,
Bu penguen halkı herzaman ilgimi çekmiştir ve onları yakından görmeyi hep arzu etmişimdir. Sizin bu kareniz yine bende bu duygularımı depreştirdi. Çok hoş bir fotoğraf. Elinize sağlık.

Hi James,
A lovely capture of this entire population of king penguins. Very well composed with sharp details. Thanks a lot for sharing.

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2008-07-15 2:07]

Hello James,
A wonderful landscape with an impressive King Penguin colony in the FG. I like the POV and composition with the S. Georgian mts providing a great BG to the colony.
A real gem from your archives and TFS!

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  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-07-15 2:16]

Hello James,
Fantastic view from South Georgia across this mass of Penguins to the mountains beyond. Looks like we need some population control there too! ;-) I like the way they're gathered around the lake/inlet! Excellent composition in lovely colours.
TFS and regards, Ulla

Meraviglioso paesaggio punteggiato da questa colonia di Pinguini e le bellissime montagne sullo sfondo, eccellenti POV e composizione, bellissimi i colori. Grazie e complimenti. Ciao Maurizio

Hi James
Fantastic Nothing more to say ;-) I always wanted to visit South Georgia Maybe someday I will ;-) Beautiful 3-dimensional view. Great composition Beautiful landscape
Best wishes

Hello James,
Amazing shot!just outstanding image,beautiful landscape with huge king penguin colony,wonderful composition and pov,
very well done,

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  • PaulH Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1137 W: 26 N: 3879] (13882)
  • [2008-07-15 7:35]

Amazing shot James...almost other worldly. Tahanks for sharing it with us!

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  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-07-15 13:38]

Hi James,
that is a looooot of penguins!!
Very impressive photo.
They seem to go on forever!
Excellent composition.
Perfect exposure.

Very well done,

p.s this is going into my favs!

Hi James,

Excellent shot of this King Penguin Colony, the numbers are staggering, and in various stagers of moulting, the d.o.f is amazing, beautiful colours, t.f.s

Cheers Rick :)

James, I just can't stop admiring this superb image from your 2002 collection!
Goodness gracious, the depth of view in this image is unbelievable!
Most important -- this is easily the best documentation of a mammoth congregation of Penguins on the Island.
They also remind me of the Hindu pilgrims gathering for an annual event at Manimahesh Lake in my district in the Himalayas every August. The lake is situated at a height of about 13000 ft and is considered to be the abode of Shiva.

You amaze me with the gems you have gathered from all parts of the world as an incorrigible globe-trotter :)!!!
Don't mind too many exclamations here; they express my wonder and joy at seeing your work.

What a feeling of scale this shot gives you, James!
Amazing, simply amazing!
Very well done, my friend!

  • Great 
  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2008-07-16 10:14]

Hello James! Wow! What an impressive shot! Fantastic image of those youngsters around the water and the adults in the background, the composition is very well done and the sharpness of the details is perfect. Congrats!


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  • zulfu Gold Star Critiquer [C: 685 W: 0 N: 2] (43)
  • [2008-07-16 13:35]

Hello again James, lovely and wonderful shot. TFS.

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  • iris Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 479 W: 60 N: 970] (3088)
  • [2008-07-18 21:29]

Dear James,

I come back again at a leisurely pace and tell myself on opening this "Good Lord! This is one-in -a- million shot"!!!!!

I admire your captures not just for the photographic quality they have in them but also for the substance that they carry.This one of those rare shots.Fully rich and a treat to the eyes.And you are one of those lucky world travellers who have a great job that is able to take you places. I am glad you are also a gifted photographer who is able to share your experiences and sights of the world with so many others who do not have the smae opportunity.

This is breathtaking and i am wondering how you felt standing there looking at the colony and its inhabitants.The experience i bet is once-in-a-lifetime ...superb PoV and excellent DoF.I like the way the valley is filled with moving inhabitants and way the mountains rising away as the Bg.The grey mountain with touches of snow and the white cloud passing by makes a fine contrast against the relatively less brighter scene in the valley.The colour contrasts are very much noticeable.

While i enjoyed reading your notes on South Georgia and South Sandwhich Islands, i would personally have liked a note on the life in this colony.Are there documentation available on that topic?...it must be quite an interesting read...as to how they have managed here in this particular region, as to what level of human interventions happen here etc...

Thanks a ton for sharing this wonderful capture ...goes straight into my favourites...


Sencillamente es una toma impresionante !! y además te transporta a ese lugar y te hace soñar...

Un trabajo fantástico.

Un abrazo: Josep Ignasi.

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