Elliot’s Storm Petrel in Galapagos Islands

Kathy and I recently spent two weeks photographing in the Galapagos Islands. This little bird was as big a challenge as anything we shot there. It is about 5 inches in length and flits along the surface of the ocean feeding on something invisible to me. They are never still. The bird is dark with the underside shaded on the surface of the water but with a bright white feather patch near the tail, facing the sun. Figuring out an exposure is a challenge with rapid movement, direct sun, and white and dark feathers. Then to get to them we were in a small zodiac boat, bobbing on the water with 6 or seven photographers trying to get a low position for a good angle. So the birds are moving and the boat is moving. The zodiac drive was able to get us in position for the birds to work their way towards us. When they reached us, the driver would speed ahead of them for us to have another opportunity. Rinse and repeat several times.


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