Larry, Curly and Moe at Port Lockroy, Antarctica
Port Lockroy is located on the Antarctic Peninsular. I visited there during November 2010 while co-leading an Aurora Expeditions photography tour with my friend and colleague David Burren. The trip was a lot of fun, with loads of diverse subject matter to photograph, both landscape and wildlife. Most importantly I made a number of really good friends along the way.
I loved these three little fellows, whom I rather cheekily refer to as Larry, Curly and Moe. Watching them slip and slide their way down the slope was a real hoot. I'm glad I wasn't the only one to have trouble moving about. The ice was terrible slippery.
Our three penguins friends weren't moving all that fast, nonetheless timing was important to make an interesting image, so I waited until the middle one was slightly out of step with the other two before releasing my camera's shutter.
Building An Image Around Composition
From a design point of view it makes sense that the centre subject is the one that's different. That's as true when photographing flowers, product and people as it is the above wildlife image.
Imagine a portrait of three sisters, two of them wearing black and the other white. It makes sense to put the odd one, in this case the girl dressed in white, in the centre of the composition. This is a simple rule to follow when looking to create a harmonious photo. It's the need to introduce a little bit of tension, within an otherwise static or mundane scene, without compromising image balance or cohesion.
There was very little color in the original scene, other than a bluish hue reflected from the overcast sky into the shadows. And, as the guys had come dressed for dinner, a black-and-white rendering seemed appropriate.
The shadows are very slightly blue, while the highlights display a gentle yellowish tinge. It's very subtle. I've used split toning, in this case, to further increase the separation between highlights and shadows. So the highlights are now both warm and light, while the shadows are both cool and dark. Of course, depending on the color accuracy of your monitor, you may or not be able to see it. Oh well, it's the thought that counts.