Sunday, October 31, 2010

European Visions...and Antarctica

King Penguin surrounded by Chicks, South Georgia Island
If you suspect the penguins in this photo are  probably not in Europe, you would be right. But I am...just heading home today from a meeting of the GDT, The Society of German Nature Photography, where I gave a talk on my work documenting endangered species.  As always, it was an inspiring event: I find the Europeans have - and this is admittedly a gross generalization - a refined, even poetic, photographic style.  Some of the best work I saw was also the most deceptively simple, with elegant compositions of flowers, grasses and insects.  Simply said, the "euro-style" tends to ignore our obsession with sharpness and detail in favor of light, composition and...mystery.  Yes, they tend to prefer everything blurry which, in itself, is a kind of obsession, but one that views photography as an interpretive form rather than simply a documentary one.

Anyhow, I came away inspired to broaden my own visual vocabulary, and that's a gift. I suggest you have a look at some of the work here:  GDT - they should be posting the results soon for their 2010 "European Photographer of the Year" competition.

Meanwhile, back to the penguins. This shot, of an adult penguin lost in a sea of furry chicks, is one I took on South Georgia a couple of years ago. Happily, I have a chance to go back next week, as the NatGeo lecturer on the NG Explorer. Maybe this time, I will try this shot again, only blurry!

Nikon D3, 70-200mm lens

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