Freeze Frame

Two Adélie penguins stand on the edge of the ice, with one of them looking into the water
Adélie penguins ponder a swim (Photo: Wayne Papps)

I took this shot in mid-December on Béchervaise Island (see cover picture) when the sea ice was starting to get very unstable. While walking around the Adélie colonies I noticed a number of penguins taking advantage of the newly-formed pools of water to take a swim. I felt there would be some great photo opportunities if I could get a bit closer. I used a 70 mm lens to capture this image, with an aperture of F11 at 1/250th of a second on 35 mm 50 ASA Fuji Velvia film. An abundance of light from the sun as well as reflections off the snow and ice during the Antarctic summer create a high level of glare which suit the slower films. In these conditions, apertures of F16 and even F22 are required, depending of course on the speed of the film used. This shot called for an F11 aperture because of the darker coloured water between the floes.

Wayne Papps

About the photographer

Wayne Papps is a photographer with the Australian Antarctic Division. He undertook field photography in the Mawson area during the 1999-2000 season, and visited Casey station in 2001. More of his work can be seen in Antarctic visions: making the most of digital imaging and elsewhere in this issue.