Photographing South Georgia Island

A beautiful day with a view towards the back of the Stromness Wailing Station on South Georgia Island in the southern Atlantic Ocean

South Georgia Island is the largest island in the South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands group. A mecca for wildlife photographers, ecologist and documentary makers like Sir David Attenborough. I visited South Georgia Island in November 2010 and may well return next year.

Hungry King Penguin chicks awaiting the return of their parents near Sailsbury Plain on South Georgia Island.

Photography Opportunities on South Georgia

In addition to the dramatic landscape you’ll be somewhat overcome by significant populations of southern fur seals, elephant seals and king penguins on the island. What’s more albatross, petrels, prions, shags, skuas, gulls and terns can also be found. If you love wildlife, South Georgia offers a wide range of photographic opportunities.

What’s more the dramatic landscape and historically important Stromness and Grytviken Whaling stations add variety to your photography adventures on the island. All you have to do is find your way to this isolated, barren and largely inhospitable group of islands in the southern Atlantic Ocean.

It’s said that rats introduced accidentally onto the island are responsible for the loss of tens of millions of ground-nesting bird’s eggs and chicks over the years. An eradication program, the largest of its kind in the world, is currently underway to resolve this terrible problem.

A spectacular view of a low lying cloud hovering over mountain peaks on South Georgia Island

Here’s a photo made on a relatively short walk between the atmospheric Salisbury Plain and the Grace Glacier. I love how the low lying cloud seems to hover over the mountain tops.

An abstract image formed, momentarily, on the surface of water off the coast of Prion Island in South Georgia.

Our numerous shore excursions were made from zodiacs. This particular trip required me passing through the gauntlet as I made my way through a bunch of feisty seals. It’s a matter of facing down the harassment on your way back to the zodiac.

Once offshore I was able to make a few last photos of elephant seals and this abstract image made, on the fly, from the zodiac. I love the momentary patterns formed on the water by the motion of the zodiac.

If you’re thinking about a trip to Antarctica I most certainly would recommend considering an itinerary that includes South Georgia Island.

Glenn Guy, Travel Photography Guru