Falkland Islands

I Thought You Are a Film Star - Los Angeles Travel Photographer

Upon arrival at the Long Island Farm, we were greeted by a well-outfitted gentleman, in his British accent.  His name is John, a friend of the farm owners Glenda and Neil.  He's helping with the guests.  He also, on a frequent basis, gives presentation about Falkland Islands' life, culture and history.  

After a short conversation, he asked "what do you do for a living?"  Before I had the chance to answer, he apologized.  I explained that's how we Americans would ask too and we quickly went on to the programs ahead.  

Time slipped by fast and after tea and sheep and horses, it's time to say good-bye.  The last thing that John said to me was "I thought you are a film star".  It took me a while to realize what he said, after translating from British to American English.  I guess, in a way, we all are the star in a movie called "My Life".:-)

In this image, Paul, the son of Glenda and Neil, was shearing the sheep which are set wild during the year and only came back (with the help of the dog, I'm sure) for shearing.  He made it seem so easy and it feels so poetic to me.  Oh, by the way, Paul is also a sergeant in the army.  It reminds me the old days when people were not as specialized and were a lot more dexterous.     

Wild-Sheep-Shearing-Long-Island-Farm-Falkland-Islands-South-Ocean-Antarctica-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography

Wild-Sheep-Shearing-Long-Island-Farm-Falkland-Islands-South-Ocean-Antarctica-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography

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I Transformed this Wild Beauty at Falkland Islands - Los Angeles Transformational Beauty Photographer

The Falkland Islands are known to have one of the largest populations of Southern rockhopper penguins.  I've long looked forward to meeting such unique "people in tuxedos".  Although the rockhopper penguin is one of the world’s most numerous penguin populations, it is estimated that the population has decreased almost 90% since the early 20th century.  At the census conducted by Falklands Conservation, the total Falkland Islands population was estimated to be 320,000 breeding pairs  in 2010 vs. an estimate of 1.5 million breeding pairs in 1933.   

When we arrived on New Island, the most westerly inhabited of the Falklands archipelago, we were in such treat to meet a colony that's in nesting season.  Many were busy foraging, nesting and/or incubating their first of the two eggs.  So, this is the state in which I met them:  

A-Hopping-Southern-Rockhopper-Penguin-New-Island-Falkland-Islands-South-Ocean-Antarctica-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography

A-Hopping-Southern-Rockhopper-Penguin-New-Island-Falkland-Islands-South-Ocean-Antarctica-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography

Wouldn't you agree that one tends not to be the most elegant when busy?  So, I thought I'd do a representation of this species in the "Transformational Beauty" kind of manner:

Transformed-Beauty-Southern-Rockhopper-Penguin-New-Island-Falkland-Islands-South-Ocean-Antarctica-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography

Transformed-Beauty-Southern-Rockhopper-Penguin-New-Island-Falkland-Islands-South-Ocean-Antarctica-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography

Do you think that I've done a fine job of transforming this cutie-ful into a beautiful?

No Animal was Harmed in this Shooting - Los Angeles Travel Photographer

Having lost (almost) our last tie to modern development, we set sail for Falkland Islands.  While many of us set our eyes on the anticipated encounters with various types of penguins on this trip, I got to meet pintado petrels and giant petrels for the first time.  Being the opportunistic feeders, giant petrels, when at sea, often follow fishing fleets in the hope of picking up offal.  With a wingspan of up to nearly 7 feet (83 inches), their glide on the surface of ocean, in gusty wind, seemed effortless.

Giant-Petrel-Sailing-Behind-Ship-Railing-South-Ocean-Antarctica-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography

Giant-Petrel-Sailing-Behind-Ship-Railing-South-Ocean-Antarctica-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography

While being busy following the ever-swift movements of the birds and, at times, being mesmerized in the almost dance-like creation of the ocean, I found myself somehow caught (or rather, involved) in a "serial" shooting.  What a busy day that was!  

And, I felt that I have to put the disclaimer out there: with three "shooters" that you see, nobody was harmed - not a wild life, nor a person.

Serial-Shooting-in-South-Ocean-Antarctica-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography

Serial-Shooting-in-South-Ocean-Antarctica-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography

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