Freeze Frame

A group of King penguins against the backdrop of the snow-covered Mount Mawson on Heard Island.
King penguins at Heard Island. (Photo: Matthew Curnock)
Matt Curnock in a boat with Heard Island in the distance

Matt Curnock is a researcher with CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences, specialising in social-ecological science for the sustainable management of natural resources, with a particular interest in the marine environment and cetaceans. He participated in an expedition to Heard Island in November 2012, providing film and photographic support for an upcoming documentary by filmmaker Dean Miller. This was his first foray into the Southern Ocean.

Matt says of his photo:
This photo was taken towards the end of our first day of only two shore visits to Heard Island, permitted by brief gaps in the formidable weather. After six to seven hours documenting and filming the wildlife around Atlas Cove, the cloud base dissipated and Big Ben revealed itself in full splendour in the warm light of the setting sun. This group of king penguins seemed to appreciate the brief respite from the wind chill, and were wonderful subjects to photograph against the magnificent backdrop of the mountain. (Nikon D7000, 18-300mm DX lens).