Falkland Islands Photography is a blog post from the Falkland Islands category.

Falkland Islands Photography

Posted by Will on

The Falkland Islands lie in the South Atlantic, 300 miles off the coast of South America. They gained notoriety in 1982 when Argentina invaded, thus sparking the 74-day Falklands War. Nowadays the Islands are quiet and peaceful yet the wreckage of fighter jets and tanks, mine fields and war memorials serve as a reminder of the Islands’ recent past.

Silhouetted gentoo penguins at sunset.

As we approached Mount Pleasant Airport and peered out of the plane windows, we were struck by how barren and tree-less the landscape appeared. Upon stepping-off the plane the reason for this instantly became apparent; we were confronted by a howling wind intent upon uprooting anything higher than a sprig of tussock grass (including us)!

A pair of endangered black-browed albatross courting.
A black-browed albatross sitting on its nest at sunset.

The Islands have just 2,500 inhabitants in an area the size of Wales and with most of the population living in Stanley it means you are almost guaranteed not to bump into anyone else once you get out to the more remote islands.

A playful elephant seal pup in a rockpool.
Elephant Seal at Sunset

Wildlife is abundant on the Islands, mainly as a result of the rich surrounding waters. The animals have little fear of humans which makes a trip to the Falklands a truly magical experience.

These striated caracaras are known locally as Johnny Rooks. It is estimated that there are only 500 breeding pairs left in the wild.
A killer whale hunting for young elephant seals and penguins.

Penguins are everywhere! Magellanic penguins stand outside their burrows along the coast, Rockhopper and Gentoo penguins can be found in large noisy colonies and a large group of beautiful king penguins live at Volunteer Point. Graceful black-browed albatross nest in sprawling rookeries along the cliff-tops in the North-West. Gigantic elephant seals laze around and fight on pristine beaches, while killer whales cruise the shallows waiting for pups to stray within range.

A group of spectacular king penguins on the beach at Volunteer Point.
A curious rockhopper penguin.

Our aim for the trip was to photograph as many of the Islands’ species as possible. Many fantastic wildlife photographers have visited the Falklands before us, so we were also aiming to come away with something different. We visited six locations over the course of two weeks and upon arrival at each, we would dedicate a significant amount time to scoping out the opportunities and drawing up a list of shots that we wanted to get. We then spent the remainder of our time diligently working through our shot lists. Often we had to split up and concentrate on different subjects to make best use of our limited time. We were keen to take our photographs in the best possible light… unfortunately for us, this meant waking up at 4am for sunrise and staying out until sunset at around 10pm!

A white-tufted grebe.
Magellanic oyster catchers looking for food on the beach.

We haven’t had room to include many of our favourite pictures from the trip, so stay tuned for a few follow-up posts!

13 Comments

  1. Jenna Stirling said: January 7, 2010 at 5:16 am

    Fantastic work once again! You’ve done a great job capturing the natural beauty there! Maybe one day I will be so lucky… until then I have your guy’s work to enjoy! :)

  2. Anne said: January 7, 2010 at 8:25 am

    I enjoy the photos especially of the seals. I do hope that this island has protection for these animals so that someone who would take advantage of their lack of fear does not do damage to them. Its sad we have to worry about such things but thanks for showing me another side of the Falklands as mostly I remember the unhappy part.

  3. Nikki said: January 7, 2010 at 9:54 am

    Fantastic shots of a beautiful place with gorgeous wildlife. Well done!

  4. mazzz_in_Leeds said: January 7, 2010 at 9:55 am

    Breathtaking as always.
    the killer whale and the seal above it are my personal favourites

  5. Suzy Walker said: January 7, 2010 at 10:38 am

    beautiful images as always :)

    @scuba_suzy

  6. Steve Ingraham said: January 7, 2010 at 11:22 am

    Wonderful images. Looks like an amazing
    place.

  7. Martina Rathgens said: January 7, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    I love your travel Blog and wonderful photos, looking forward to many more to come.I wish to do what you do too, travel and take photos of our beautiful world.

  8. Stephanie Martin said: January 7, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    Amazing, lovely images! Very good work!

  9. Jim Goldstein said: January 7, 2010 at 7:36 pm

    Inspiring wildlife photography as always. The Killer Whale photo is particularly dramatic.

  10. Phill Danze said: January 16, 2010 at 6:46 pm

    Fantastic pictures. I also like the one about “inquisitiveness” shown outside this gallery. I too have had the pleasure of photographing penguins on Macquarie Island and thre Royals and Kings there too are magnificent; I recommend you get there one day if you can. Thanks as always for sharing your stunning wildlife pictures.

  11. Adie Taylor said: February 4, 2011 at 9:03 pm

    Fantastic images, especially the Orca. I know first hand how good the wildlife photography is on the islands, having been down there twice during my military career. On one visit to Sea Lion Island, I spent a frustrating day on one beach waiting for a Killer Whale sighting without luck. The other wildlife more than made up though. Keep up the good work.

  12. VICTOR said: June 10, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    excellent pictures!!

  13. Zeke said: September 18, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    Hello! I really liked your pictures. You captured the essence of everything you portrayed in each one of them. I’m a denizen of Buenos Aires City and would love to visit the isles. You know how and what can and should I do to get there? I wonder this because of the problems between Argentina and the United Kingdom regarding the Falklands.

    Congrats again on your talent and such a good taste!

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