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Rockhopper Portrait

Rockhopper Portrait
Photo Information
Copyright: Andy Cole (flagman) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 351 W: 44 N: 607] (2408)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-02-18
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 300D, Canon 70-200 f/4L, Hoya Super HMC Pro1 67mm Sky1B
Exposure: f/4, 1/250 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Travelogue: A day at Whipsnade [III]
Theme(s): Zoo animals [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2006-04-20 10:56
Viewed: 5863
Points: 58
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
It's been a while since I posted a photo as I've had very little spare time in which to post, but I've got a nice collection of photos building up in the archive, so I though I'd better get posting, as I tend to get bored of looking at them after a while, and I sometimes decide not to post them at all....

This is a very helpful Rockhopper penguin posing nicely for a full body shot, at Whipsnade Zoo, Bedfordshire.
Taken on a very cold winter afternoon, I'm sure the penguin felt right at home!

Any critiques welcome, good or bad, especially if you can tell me how I could improve this photo.


Some facts about the Rockhopper penguin, courtesy of the BBC website:

Vital Statistics
Height: 55cm (21in), Weight: 2-3kg (4.5-6.5lb).

Rockhoppers are found on islands in the southern oceans, such as the Falklands, and are found all round the sub-Antarctic islands. They leave their breeding colony in late summer and spend three to five months at sea.

Rockhoppers can be aggressive and use a loud cry to announce their presence, attract a mate and state their territory. They also shake their heads causing their yellow plumage to form a halo when attracting a mate. When at rest they hide their heads under their wing. They like to live in high grasses and rocky areas of temperate grassland and coastal biomes.

They mate in large colonies in early spring or late summer (Oct-Apr) so the young are able to go to sea in mid-summer. Rockhoppers usually lay two eggs. Incubation is by both sexes and lasts almost five weeks with a creche forming at about three weeks and departure to sea seven weeks later.

elefantino, aido, pilonm, fiyo, Signal-Womb, MojoUK, wideload, Tommysugar, PDP, liquidsunshine, loot, peter_stoeckl, thistle, coasties, SkyF, sAner, Luc, liziafa, TAZ has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • Jannie Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 244 W: 6 N: 264] (1227)
  • [2006-04-20 11:17]

Great capture Andy. Excellent POV and pose. Great detail and vivid colours.

Nicely done

Good portrait of this funny bird.
Nice details and colors.


  • Great 
  • aido Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 1044 W: 156 N: 1218] (4046)
  • [2006-04-20 12:04]

Hi Andy,
I don't think there is really any improving to do, it's a great shot! Lovely detail and framing, DOF is very good and the eye-level POV is perfect. I've tried to photograph this lot at Whipsnade but with not much success and nothing anywhere near as good as this. In fact I tried so many times I even named a few of them :-) One minor thing: I think maybe there is a slight yellow cast to this, if you use the auto function of curves (or levels) in photoshop it should fix it.

  • Great 
  • pilonm Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 588 W: 90 N: 975] (3321)
  • [2006-04-20 12:20]

Hello Andy,

I like very much your picture! The colours are very good, the pov, excellent and the bg, suprising (a penguin surrounded by vegetation ;-). I also like your framing...

Congratulations and TFS,


  • Great 
  • sily Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 239 W: 6 N: 395] (1934)
  • [2006-04-20 12:58]

Never seen this bird before, nice photo though, details and capture are superb! Thanks :)!

  • Great 
  • fiyo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1053 W: 5 N: 3475] (15161)
  • [2006-04-20 13:35]

Hi Andy,
Great capture,
Very good lighting, sharp and detailed image, very nice colours. TFS

  • Great 
  • ele Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Silver Note Writer [C: 93 W: 15 N: 15] (382)
  • [2006-04-20 13:42]

very very very very good compliment the light end pov.

  • Great 
  • MojoUK Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 65 W: 7 N: 328] (1479)
  • [2006-04-20 13:52]

Hi Andy. Hard to see how you could improve this already fantastic image. Pose is excellent and the composition and exposure spot on. TFS.

  • Great 
  • Scott Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 227 W: 0 N: 356] (1752)
  • [2006-04-20 14:13]

Cute little guy, the colors are great, white and black show well. TFS

Brilliant capture Andy, he looks so comical. Very clear details and clarity. Nice work.

Hi Andy,
Great detailed capture, he sure looks like a bit of a character.


Very nice portarait of a beautiful bird!
Nice colours and point of view!
Good work, bye Tom

  • Great 
  • PDP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 2821 W: 344 N: 3779] (11769)
  • [2006-04-20 16:08]

Hi Andy, great hairstyle! Those eyebrows look like hair extensions. Nice shot with an excellent pose.

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2006-04-20 16:46]

What a fantastic POV of this rockhopper penguin, Andy.
The details are very sharp, and it is a great pose, for sure.
If anything, it might be a tad on the dark side,
but then you might run into OE if you go too much the other way.
Anyway I like it just as it is. Great shot and TFS. ; )

Hi Andy,
Good detail and sharpness. exposure and lighting are good. Good POV, notes and framing. I really like the saturated colours in this image. I'd be really pleased to get this shot of a rockhopper.
Thanks for posting, enjoy the rest of the week.

  • Great 
  • loot Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5551 W: 721 N: 4164] (11276)
  • [2006-04-21 0:12]

Hi Andy
Ah, the return of the original "Rocker' and it looks like he is ready for some action.
It is a fabulous shot of a very nice bird.
The composition and POV is excellent, the colours are stunning, the DOF is great with very sharp details, and the exposure was handled very well.
Good work and TFS.

Hi Andy,
no idea how you could improve this rockhopper portrait.
To me it is outstanding. Definitely perfect - and very charming, too.
Thank you! Best regards,

Hello Andy,
This is great! He no doubt did a great job posing you. His "face" look a little annoyed though :-) I wouldn't change anything here though maybe the BG could've been a little bit more blurred.
Overall, great shot!

Hi Andy

Wow... where did he hire the fancy dress costume! Love this shot from the spikey yellow eyebrows to the pink fat feet. Fantastic!!!

  • Great 
  • TPAKT Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Silver Note Writer [C: 97 W: 21 N: 20] (89)
  • [2006-04-21 14:42]

Privet Andy
It is a type. A ridiculous and kind portrait. As the big toy. Very much it is pleasant.

  • Great 
  • jossim Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1538 W: 5 N: 2240] (12636)
  • [2006-04-22 3:01]

Excellente prise!

Félicitations pour l'exposition et les superbe couleurs. Bravo pour la qualité d'image.



Excellent shot of this cool creature from the colder climate, the detail and colors are fabulous. Well done Andy. :)

  • Great 
  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
  • [2006-04-27 14:29]

Hi Andy,
quite the hairdo there. Love the pose and look you getting ;-). Good sharpness and lovely POV.

  • Great 
  • sAner Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1462 W: 74 N: 1428] (4750)
  • [2006-05-04 6:43]

Excellent capture Andy, I am glad you decided to post this one as it's great. Details are amazingly sharp and the exposure is spot on. Very good pose, POV and DOF too. Ain't this the best looking penguin species there is? :)
Well done & TFS!


Hi Andy,
Very nice shot.
Excellent detail nad exposure.
Well done!
TFS Malgosia

  • Great 
  • Adam73 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 208 W: 5 N: 522] (2253)
  • [2006-06-19 10:45]

I love the exposure, great detail and colors. I love this shot. Has such a cute factor too. lol Very nice photo.

  • Great 
  • TAZ Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2241 W: 47 N: 3167] (10926)
  • [2006-07-03 12:18]

Cet oiseau est vraiment beau et amusant ! J'adore son look si drôle avec ses plumes jaunes au dessus des yeux. La photo est de bonne qualité et lui rend bie hommage.
Well seen and well done, bravo Andy !

Hi Andy, what can I say??? LOL, LOL ,LOL...
terrific shot, perfect!!!

Hi Andy
Sorry to dissappoint you but I am pretty sure that this is a Macaroni Penguin and not a Rockhopper.
That doesn't take away the fact that it is a fabulous capture with brilliant eye detail and lighting with a natural background

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