Iceberg half underwater
Wow, I love surprises! And I certainly got one for the senses this week. It is always such a great great pleasure to find on social media new people doing wonderful things. This week I found a new connection, Kyle Marquardt. I happened upon a fantastic wildlife picture through somebody sharing. I looked further and WOW! This guy had my head and heart in his pocket with his photography and places. He is passionate and thoughtful, modest and helpful to others. I asked him to pick his own 10 favourites and give the story behind each.
From the desk of Kyle Marquardt…………..
I have been thoroughly entrenched in photography since high school, but it wasn’t until I learned I could combine it with the things I love most that I got into travel photography. After volunteering with a travel company civilized adventures. I got a fantastic offer to go to Antarctica as a photographic guide. Here I got to show people the sights, take photos and inspire everyone to get their best photos. Since then I have hosted photographic trips in Kenya & Tanzania, the Norwegian and Canadian Arctic, Greenland and of course Antarctica.
Iceberg half underwater
Before I was even in Antarctica, I knew I wanted to get an iceberg half underwater. I did a little research and experimented with underwater housings so I could be prepared to get a shot like this. When the opportunity came I was ready and snapped this shot by hanging off the side of my zodiac!
White baby seal
With over four million fur seals in the great sub antarctic island of South Georgia, you get quite used to these black pups flopping around the beach. But when you get the chance to photograph a rare leucistic fur seal with the blonde coat you know you have something special! I had to take a few shots as the sun was behind the clouds and it was very dark; I was dealing with slow 1/100ths of a second shutter speeds. This is why photographers take so many pictures, between the 20 shots I took this one had the best pose with no motion blur!
Black and White Mountains
South Georgia is known for it’s dramatic scenery, quite often I like taking landscape shots with my telephoto lens, somewhat unconventional but when you see these perfect rays in this stunning set of mountains far away, you end up zooming in on a scene normally only accessible by helicopter!
The special moments when the chaos amongst a busy colony seems to flow into a peaceful moment is exactly what a photographer is looking for. I was laying on the ground scanning the colony for this calm behaviour when these two snuggled up to eachother, I trained my lens on them and snapped this couples portrait.
Iceberg Dotted with Penguins
This is among the first sights antarctica may greet you with, great icy monoliths with hints of what is to come, almost like an appetizer tray with just a bit of the best things antarctica has to offer to prepare you for the grand splendor it has to offer. After seeing so much ice you begin to learn how to interpret the shapes carved into the ice and can actually read the history on the icebergs. You can see if they’ve turned over, what orientation they used to be and where the “shoreline” was. You can spend hours “reading” every piece of ice you see.
Glacier in the sun
The weather is also dramatic, one minute it is calm quiet and sunny, the next you may have ultra fast winds whipping over the top of the glacier. I’m never afraid to shoot into the sun, something a lot of people are taught not to do. I’ve learned that the most difficult situation to shoot in is often the most rare and beautiful.
These three walrus were enduring a particularly hot day. Normally their skin lacks a lot of colour but when it gets hot, blood flows to the surface of their skin and turns it into a pink cottage cheese colour! After seeing this I don’t think anyone should be allowed to complain about cellulite, it could be worse if you’re a walrus!
This mother cheetah was posing for us early in the golden morning of the Masai Mara in Kenya. We took some great portraits of her when she got up and walked purposefully over the hill. The local guides with me knew she was ready to hunt and we made the decision to stop photographing her cubs and get ahead of the mother to capture her on a chase. Our quick decisions worked perfectly as mother cheetah burst after a gazelle right in front of us. The gazelle got away but we all came back with stunning photos of her.
We had seen a few glimpses of the leopard before, but the reclusive nature of these big cats made sure we couldn’t get a clear view of them, either hidden away in bushes or asleep in high branches. All throughout the safari we were keen on getting more photos of leopards when we came across this beauty. The sun was setting ensuring the light would scoop under the canopy of the acacia tree and light our leopard in the most perfect way!
I was very lucky to get a shot like this. It was quite dark at this point and had to use my telephoto lens to capture this scene the way I saw it. I had to shoot at 1/40th of a second, which is very hard to do with a 400mm lens hand held. Thank goodness for image stabilization, I was able to get a crystal clear picture out of a few exposures!
The thing about every photo I’ve taken is that I’m always with other travellers, regular people just like you. People think that only extraordinary people get to see these things and that’s not true! It’s ordinary people that make it viable for me to go on these adventures and trip after trip has proven to me that everyone with the drive can take great photos.