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It's Good To Be King

It's Good To Be King
Photo Information
Copyright: Scott Evers (scottevers7) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2432 W: 3 N: 3894] (12309)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2005-11-06
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon 20D, Canon 70-200 f2.8 L IS + EF 1.4X II, B+W UV MRC
Exposure: f/4, 1/80 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Animal Portraits II, 100 points or more (Chapter 2), 5 favs. and up - PART 2 [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2006-01-05 1:03
Viewed: 7034
Favorites: 8 [view]
Points: 116
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Today is my one year anniversary on Trek Nature! Also, this is my first post for 2006. I believe that this site, and its members, have helped me improve my photography skills. I want to thank everyone for their critiques, comments, workshops, and overall kindness. I probably spend to much time here, but I am always learning, and studying others work to learn more. I would love some day to be a working professional nature photographer, but I need alot of work.

This photo was taken inside the Penguin and Puffin exhibit at the St Louis Zoo. It is very cold and dark inside the exhibit. I pushed the ISO to 800 and used a rock wall to brace myself as much as possible. I did not use fill flash, as I have before in here, and they never look natural. I realize it is dark, but think of the cold Antarctic nights, and you have the perfect portrait. This is a King Penguin. If you have watched the movie March of the Penguins, those were Emperor Penguins in the movie.

King Penguin

Aptenodytes patagonicus

Description & Characteristics:

King penguins breed on seven sub-Antarctic island groups with large populations on the Falkland Islands, Macquarie Islands, Heard Island, Iles Crozet and Marion island. They are not considered to be migratory. Despite their scientific name 'patagonica,' there is no evidence that they ever lived in Patagonia. Kings have been exploited in the past, but thankfully their numbers have increased in several localities and their conservation status now seems secure.

Distinctive features of the King penguin include a silvery-grey back with a blackish-brown head decorated with striking ear patches of bright golden-orange feathers. They are similar in appearance to the Emperor penguin but can be identified by the orange coloring on their breasts, more slender bodies and longer bills. As are most penguins, males and females are monomorphic, meaning they are similar in both size and appearance with behavioral clues providing the best means of identification.

ellis49, Luc, petrudamsa, reina, dew77, chiliu, Janice, peter_stoeckl, marhowie, Dave, coasties, slrnovice2, gerhardt, liquidsunshine, red45, saguzar, annagrace, Active, PDP, livios, moemf, ScottHale, cedryk, touristdidi, CTP, hummingbird24, TAZ, OdetteVN, marjan, thistle, krvanheuven, jstewart, Hoos, aido, timonejoon, radz, vanderschelden, methos, greghume has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To greghume: Workshopscottevers7 3 07-27 16:57
To reina: Penguinsscottevers7 3 01-05 17:19
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Critiques [Translate]

terific photo of king penguin. Excelent shadows and brights. Coloures are good too. Explanation aboutit is good too.

Hi Scott,
it's a beauty you have caught.
The pose is very good. Very nice colours and goo details.
Well composed and a very good POV
Maybe a little dark in the face.
Great work, my friend.

Excellent Portrait Scott. Very good pose, colours, detail and backgroud. DOF is perfect.


  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2006-01-05 3:32]

Congratulations on your one-year anniversary, Scott.
We should thank YOU for all your wonderful posts and helpful critiques. I love the colors on this penguin. I love penguins anyway. And I think it is very cool the way the drops of water cling to his feathers. Excellent work, as usual. TFS. : )

Royal portrait to a royal bird.
I wish you many more years here. With lots of good pictures.

Regards, Petru

Wonderful photo, composition and technically wise! Thanks for sharing - Xplorator Radu

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  • reina Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 257 W: 1 N: 330] (2032)
  • [2006-01-05 4:00]
  • [+]

Hi Scott, happy aniversary! This will be my favourite!!! I dont know how yet. Two days ago I saw the movie March of the penguings. You have to see it! I'm still impressed by it. You didnt mention how incredible they are by raising there little ones. Its incredible. But you can see it in the movie. Also the march they make to find a partner.
Well great posting. Thanks for all your helpfull tips so far. I think I start improving (I also think its going to be a more expensive hobby.. )
Great day greetings Reina

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  • dew77 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4432 W: 248 N: 4028] (13270)
  • [2006-01-05 4:06]

Hello Scott!
Excellent capture.POV,proud pose of penguin,clear details,catchlight in eyes and composition are wonderful.Today is also my one year anniversary on TN;).TFS...:-)

Beautiful post - colour saturation, shadow, everything is super. TFS

Hi Scott,
Excellent capture of king penguin,
amazing colour and excellent pose.
Well done and TFS!

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  • Dando Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 637 W: 32 N: 792] (3084)
  • [2006-01-05 5:38]

Love this portrait Scott, fantastic colours and detail. TFS.

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  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2006-01-05 5:38]

Wow Scott. AWESOME! Wonderful portrait; and the colours and details are too. Great job here. TFS, and congrats on your anniversary...

Very cool lookin' bird Scott! Excellent sharpness, light, color and POV. Very well composed portrait capture. Even with the dark BG and dark brown head, the vivid colors make it stand out very well IMO. Very well done.
Thank You!

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  • Dave Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 503 W: 43 N: 657] (2178)
  • [2006-01-05 10:58]

Hi Scott,
I bet that year zoomed by fast...
I just perused your whole posted inventory of posts... Pretty nice...;-)
The first Scott Evers post I remember commenting/critiquing is this one:) A masterpiece in all manner! IMO:) I hope you will be successful in realizing your dream and being a working professional nature photographer. But whether or not that dream comes true, this I know; you are an excellent nature photographer whom I have the greatest respect for!! Keep on keepin' on! I hope I will be able to follow your endeavors for a long time here...
It was a good day my eye caught sight of this one, and you made it happen with exceptional talent worth emulating... Just hope I've got what it takes, camera or no camers!
the Best of Regards,

ps Mighty fine King Penguin Aptenodytes patagonicus you have here! ...;-)

Hi Scott

Lovely shot of the penguin. The head area is a wee bit dark, but it is not a major. Beautiful catchlight and the colours are really nice. Top shot. TFS.

Hi Scott, this is a lovely image. I love the moodiness introduced by the dark tones and strong colours. Lovely sharpness, catchlight and composition. It's a winner in my book, very well done :)

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  • jossim Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1538 W: 5 N: 2240] (12636)
  • [2006-01-05 13:29]

Fantastique prise Scott, l'éclairage est superbe et la netteté excellente.

Félicitations pour les belles couleurs.



I love this shot! It's a great portrait of a king, the lighting may seem a tad low, doesn't really affect the overall image too much that you capture in this really coooool shot. :)

Hi Scot,
it's a wonderful play with colours - this black face against the black BG and the wonderful colours from white to yellow/orange, excellent. I love the reflection of light in the eye, wonderful post, thanks
Sabine - wishnugaruda

They are a nightmare to expose correclty and I think you did well. Nice light and details. Well done.

Hi Scott,
Happy 1st Anniversary on TN, Mine is is a couple of days.

This is a wonderful capture. I love the velvety look and the water droplets on the Penguin.
Good detail and colours. Great POV and sharpness.
Nicely composed and good exposure.
Thanks for posting. Enjoy the rest of the week. Have a great 2006.

Congrats on your first year at Trek Nature.
I think the whole concept of the trek sites is amazing. I agree that people here are helpful but you have the desire (or shall I say addiction) to learn and that's what has made you improve the most.

I really like this King penquin shot. It does look similar to the Emperor Penquin. I like the catch light, the pose and the detail of the water running or beading on it's chest. the color captured is just beautiful.
Great shallow depth of field. I love the soft, yet textured background.

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  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2006-01-05 18:22]

Congratulations Scott! This one is one of your best shots for sure. It's good for cover of nature magazine! Great pose, colours, exposition - superb work!

Hello Scott, great picture in first plane of this beautiful penguin. Excellents colors, details and clearness. Another great photo yours.

What a truly spectacular portrait - straight to my favorites! The light on the face is great, colors are awesome. Well done!


Congratualtions on your anniversary:)))
It`s good that you are here with us and share those fantastic photos. TFS :)

about this pic: what can I say/write? it`s fantastic in every way!!! especially POV and colors!
thanks and all the best :)

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  • PDP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 2821 W: 344 N: 3779] (11769)
  • [2006-01-06 9:22]

Hi Scott, the pose is superb and the colours are excellent and I love the water droplets on the breast. The only thing that detracts here is the dark BG which provides little contrast with the head.

Very well done and Happy 1st Anniversary!

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  • livios Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2150 W: 319 N: 4263] (16942)
  • [2006-01-06 10:02]

Scott, happy first anniversary. Keep on being with us.

And, hey, man, what a beautiful capture!

Everything's perfect. I do enjoy lighting, exposure, sharpness and composition. The catchlight is there; lovely pose and dark bg. Nice droplets (?) upon the body.

Congratulations. A beauty.

Hi Scott.
Beautiful geometrical bird shot. Interesting composition with excellent colors. Details are good everywhere - on bright and on dark. Well done.

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  • moemf Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 105 W: 0 N: 160] (703)
  • [2006-01-06 11:50]


Fantastic shot of this King penguin. The colours and DOF are excellent. Very well done and thanks for sharing.

Happy new year and in your case happy anniversary too. ;)


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  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2006-01-06 19:59]

A masterpiece here Scott, I bought the DVD of the March of the Penguins for Christmas and I really fell in love with those birds. You captured it perfectly, the class, colors, subtility and pose. And with a difficult conditions you did very good. Thanks,


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  • Graal Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Silver Note Writer [C: 751 W: 31 N: 20] (5100)
  • [2006-01-07 10:01]

Hi Scott,
beautiful bird, good shot. I like the colours, DOF and pose of bird.
Congratulations 1 year in TN!
Rgs, Aleksander

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  • cedryk Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 967 W: 50 N: 1722] (5270)
  • [2006-01-07 21:04]

Hello Scott,
Lovely shot in dark key. Perefect POv, framing and light.
Best greetings,

He is beautiful, elegant! Penquins have such a stately attitude! His eye is eloquent!

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  • CTP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 644 W: 6 N: 946] (2726)
  • [2006-01-08 12:55]

Hi Scott,
Great portrait of This cool looking penguin:)
Nice pov,dark bg,note,colors and sharpness.TFS

Congratulations on both your first year anniversary and this exceptional photo, Scott!

As perfect as this shot is, I also enjoy the water droplets adorned by this colorful and striking creature.

Superb composition, thank you!

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  • TAZ Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2241 W: 47 N: 3167] (10926)
  • [2006-01-09 12:55]

Wooooow ! What a wonderful and interesting portrait that you have well done and sent for the birthday ! I also appreciate the complementary note... Congratulations Scott and thanks for sharing.

This is a perfect shot. The colours, sharpness and POV is very excellent. Well done.


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  • nofer Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1190 W: 366 N: 811] (2307)
  • [2006-01-09 21:39]

Excelentes cores.... muito bem feito.
Ótima composição (POV)

Excellent colors.... very well done.
Great composition (POV)

Oh, I missed that somehow.
Everything have been said already. It's a great shot and I like it very much.

PS. Many more lovely years on TN Scott :)

Great shot. nice composition and the colors are great. Well done, even more during the difficult conditions.

Wow! This is perfection photographically. I can't add more than what all the other out-pourings have said.

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  • Athila Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 335 W: 239 N: 493] (1982)
  • [2006-01-24 13:20]

Hi Scott!

Nice portrait you have here. Image is sharp but exposure seem dark to me (could be my monitor adjustment). I tried a WS with Shadow(20)/Highlight(0)and its head looks more define, but I also had some reduction in color saturation. But shadow details are there. I can't post the WS since I already did two today.
Torso composiiton is good and I like its beak pointing the upper left corner.
Great work and TFS Scott.

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  • RII Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 481 W: 0 N: 895] (2862)
  • [2006-02-02 3:26]

Hi Scott.
Very nice portrait, excellente composition colors and contrast.

Hi Scott,

I just bought a new laptop and this screen is is just perfect and gives all the credibility to your image that I am not able to have on my home screen (set too dark obviuosly) and even on my job screen (a bit too dark).

I wasn't able up yo now to realize how technically amazing this picture was.
Sharp details and colors, I like the clear water drops that we can see on the penguin.
I also like the mysterious effect created by the darkness of this picture.

A+ !!!

Glad I have a good monitor now :-)

hi scott
les couleurs sont splendides,tres belle photo.

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  • optic Gold Star Critiquer [C: 322 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2006-02-07 14:38]

Hello Scott,
you did a very nice photo, great colours and sharpness is perfect TFS,


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  • Hoos Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 19 W: 0 N: 20] (111)
  • [2006-03-23 21:02]

Your photos are amazing! Nice shot! exc colors Penguin looks great!
Juan Jose

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  • aido Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 1044 W: 156 N: 1218] (4046)
  • [2006-04-17 15:55]

Hi Scott,
A lovely shot you have here, I think the decision to go without flash was the right one, the rich colours you've captured are excellent, flash might have washed them out a bit. Nice detail and pose and nice framing, great shot!

Hi Scott

I just want to watch, saying nothing. very very nice shot, lovley.

many thanks

Hello Scott,
This is almost like an abstract composition!
Colours and shapes, very nice!
The penguin should be proud for this fine portrait!
Pablo -

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  • radz Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 598 W: 11 N: 72] (436)
  • [2006-05-25 8:31]

Awesome portrait shot!!Lokks like studio shot,giving u modelling :D.TFS!

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  • Adam73 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 208 W: 5 N: 522] (2253)
  • [2006-06-19 10:44]

Awesome work with light here. Black head and black background wouldn't usually turn out well but this shot is awesome. Nice saturation on the colors and nice detail.

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  • mints (36)
  • [2006-06-21 12:27]

A beautiful shot with clear sharp lines and good framing. He looks like a real character!

Hi Scott
I somehow missed this beauty. Having seen March of the Penguins, I can appreciate the hardships they must endure. At the risk of modifying a near perfect shot, I attempted a workshop to bring up the levels on the head without ruining the mood. Regards.

Hi Scott,

I read your photographer's note. You shoudn't say the photo was taken in the conditions you wrote down. Excellent result without tripod -if I read well- and low shutterspeed, high ISO without noise. Well done!
Great compo and colours.

Hi Scott,
I absolutely love the details on this one.
The colors are amazing.
The pose is amazing and the eye contact is priceless.

Hello Scott.

Excellen image. very good details and colors.
Great portrait.

Jose Luis.

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