Elephant Seal and Glacier, South Georgia Island

Young elephant seal frolicking in a lake in front of a glacier on South Georgia Island
Young elephant seal frolicking in a lake in front of a glacier on South Georgia Island

Canon 5D Mark II camera and Canon 24-105mm f4 lens @ 24mm. Exposure Details: 1/100 second f8 ISO 100

South Georgia Island is a mecca for wildlife photography. Penguins, seals, elephant seals and a range of birdlife, it's all there. I visited South Georgia during November 2010 on a photography tour I co-ran with David Burren. It was a blast with great photo opportunities at each of the numerous shore excursions we made.

Stretching the Legs and Opening the Mind

This particular excursion allowed time for the group to wander along a long beach, over a wide plain and up and over to this inlet which seemed to serve as a kind of nursery for young elephant seals. Even though it was the middle of the day and the light was less than ideal the enormous amount of photo opportunities along the way really fired the spirit and kept our camera shutter's working feverishly.

The shallow inlet is backed by a huge glacier, only part of which is pictured in this photo. I have so many more photos from South Georgia Island, which I plan to share with you over coming months.

Keepers and the Rest

The fact is that it's only now that I've started to cull and process most of these images. The nature of wildlife photography, particularly bird photography, results in a lower rate of keepers than you'd expect when photographing portraits, landscape or architecture. But then, thanks to a digital camera with a built in motor drive, you're likely making far more pictures than you otherwise would. And that's why the act of processing and culling will be a far more tedious and exhausting process than would otherwise be the case.

Photography Is About Sharing

It's a good thing that, unlike a lot of photographers, I feel empowered by deleting photos. I'd much rather have a relatively small selection of well made and well organized photos than a substantially larger group that just sit on a hard drive. Half the fun we gain from photography is sharing our images.

No Pain, No Gain

A break from what's been a fairly intensive travel schedule over recent years has allowed me to spend a significant amount of time over the last few months catching up on image processing. Yet, despite my best efforts, I expect it will take me the rest of the year before I'm really up to date and organized.

But, as well as the satisfaction of having all my digital files processed and organized, these efforts are always worthwhile as they increase abilities and allow us to develop ever improving workflows. And that bodes well for keeping up with image processing into the future.

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Glenn Guy, Travel Photography Guru