Fantastic Falkland Islands | Photo Opportunities In Stanley

Exploring Picturesque Stanley, Heart Of The Falkland Islands

The photos in this short slideshow feature a series of images I made on a quick photo walk I undertook in Stanley, the capital of the Falkland Islands.

Stanley is a pretty place, imbued with the friendly social scene associated with a quintessential British village. With a population of around 2,100 Stanley houses over two-thirds of the Falklands population. I've got a great link to the demographics of the Falklands HERE.

There are two main islands, East and West Falkland, though the Falklands contains hundreds of other, much smaller, islands.

While our visit to the Falklands was short I really enjoyed my time there. I'd love to go back and spend a month exploring the landscape and photographing the wildlife. It's not at the top of my list but, if my numbers come up, it's definitely a possibility.

I'm very much attracted to wild, remote locations that are within reach of comfortable digs and good, simple food. And the Brits are pretty special people, are they not.  

Where On Earth Are The Falkland Islands? 

Situated in the South Atlantic, some 400 miles (i.e., 483 km) from the South American mainland and 850 miles (i.e., 1,365 km) north of the Antarctic Circle, the Falkland Islands are a remote, windswept group of islands famous for birdlife. Sheep, fishing and ecotourism are at the heart of the economy, which is supported by the presence of military personnel at the British Air Force base at the Mount Pleasant military complex.

Black-browed albatrosses, Falkland pipits, peregrine falcons, and striated caracaras are amongst the 65 species of birds found on the islands. The Falklands are breeding grounds for several million penguin rockhopper, magellanic, and gentoo penguins with smaller numbers of king and macaroni penguins. Dolphins and porpoises are common, and southern sea lions and elephant seals are also numerous.  

Why was I there? It was a few days into a photography tour I was co-running to the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the Antarctic Peninsula and had just disembarked after a reasonably rough voyage from Ushuaia at the bottom of Argentina.

A walk, on sold ground, was exactly what I needed to get my land legs back again.

Setting The Scene In Your Photo Essay

I began by photographing Stanley, from a distance, as the ship sailed into port. These initial images can be referred to as opening or establishing images, as they help place the viewer in a particular place and time.

Opening images serve to introduce the viewer to the photo essay by providing an overview of the location and a context from which a more intimate, detailed exploration can begin.

Once I'd disembarked the ship I was keen to stretch my legs. I headed along the road adjacent to the bay and then up the hillside to explore some of the local streets. A number of images followed of quaint cottages and gardens as well as a few general street scenes.

Making Unique Photos Through The Art Of Experimentation

But the process really became interesting when I began to experiment, the result of which being some fairly non-conventional images that, I'm sure, where unlike anyone else's on our tour.

And it was fun. Moving away from straight documentation provides lots of opportunities for interesting images, which is better for photographer and viewer alike.

Would You Like To Improve The Composition In Your Photos?

As a way of enhancing mood I was careful to narrow my approach to what I felt would photograph well in either color or black and white. You'll notice, for example, how the black and white images exhibit strong texture, tone and shape. In the case of the color photographs you'll notice that I'm really responding to what I saw as blocks of color in the environment.

It's important to note that, whether working towards a color or black and white photo, from a compositional point of view, I wasn't photographing buildings, gardens or miscellaneous structures. The subject of these photos is design itself. It's the design, not the objects themselves, that's been photographed.

If you concentrate on one or more elements of composition when making your own photos you'll find your photography will improve in leaps and bounds.

After a while I navigated myself back to the centre of town to photograph the Globe Tavern. I was keen to try a local brew and was pleased to find some members of the tour, guides and customers alike, well ahead of me in that regard.

I wanted so much to stay and explore the culture of this remote British territory. But, with the clock ticking and the wonders of South Georgia Island and Antarctica ahead, I left Stanley grateful for the opportunity to have visited.

Glenn Guy, Travel Photography Guru