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Stand Off

Stand Off
Photo Information
Copyright: James Parker (Jamesp) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2001-01
Categories: Mammals, Birds, Ocean
Camera: Canon EOS 1vHS, Canon EF 300mm f2.8 USM IS, Fuji Provia 100
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): CeltickRanger's favorite wild animal photos, Penguins in the Wild, TN Favourites [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-09-29 9:04
Viewed: 8578
Favorites: 2 [view]
Points: 48
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Hello everyone - I have been really busy recently, but am trying to catch up. This is not a technically great shot - the conditions were dull and gloomy, I was on the bow of a ship and the subjects were moving. However, it does capture a moment. We had been observing the massive tabular icebergs - for which the Ross Sea is famous (you can see the botton THIRD of one in the background), when suddenly, Adele penguins started to 'rocket' out of the water. A few seconds later the reason became clear as this pod of Orcas cruised round the corner of the iceberg!

The Ross Sea is a deep bay of the Southern Ocean in Antarctica between Victoria Land and Marie Byrd Land. It was discovered by James Ross in 1841. In the west of the Ross Sea is Ross Island with the Mt. Erebus volcano, in the east Roosevelt Island. The southern part is covered by the Ross Ice Shelf. Roald Amundsen started his South Pole expedition in 1911 from the Bay of Whales, which was located at the shelf. In the west of the Ross sea, McMurdo Sound is a port which is usually free of ice during the summer. The southernmost part of the Ross Sea is Gould Coast, which is approximately two hundred miles from the Geographic South Pole.

All land masses in the Ross Sea are claimed by Britain and New Zealand to fall under the jurisdiction of the Ross Dependency, but few non-Commonwealth nations recognize this claim.

The Orca or Killer Whale (Orcinus orca), less commonly, Blackfish or Seawolf, is the largest species of the oceanic dolphin family. It is found in all the world's oceans, from the frigid Arctic and Antarctic regions to warm, tropical seas.

Orca are versatile and opportunistic predators. Some populations feed mostly on fish, and other populations hunt marine mammals, including sea lions, seals, and even large whales. There are up to five distinct Orca types, some of which may be separate races, subspecies or even species. Orcas are highly social; some populations are composed of matrilineal family groups, which are the most stable of any animal species. The sophisticated social behaviour, hunting techniques, and vocal behaviour of Orcas have been described as manifestations of culture.

Although Orcas are not an endangered species, some local populations are considered threatened or endangered due to pollution, depletion of prey species, conflicts with fishing activities and vessels, habitat loss, and whaling. Wild Orcas are usually not considered a threat to humans.

pvs, robindb, nglen, Evelynn, PeterZ, boreocypriensis, yasemin, Argus, jaycee, joey, rcrick, maurydv, eqshannon, uleko, Adanac, CeltickRanger, lovenature has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
very cold placeswinterpalace 1 12-10 01:38
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • pvs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1127 W: 254 N: 3161] (14464)
  • [2008-09-29 9:11]

Hi James,

A great capture,well seen and composed,during our svalbard trip a few weeks ago we met as well a few travellers (and their pictures)who had already been in the antartic,so I can only hope that we will go there sometime in the future as the polar virus has infected us,tfs


Hi James!

Although the conditions were dull and gloomy, your picture represents pure and living nature in delightful picture and scenery. The orcas are impressive, and it looks like the pinguins would be watching them.

Kind regards


Hi James,

Good story tellimg image well handled in the circumstances. well timed with most of the penguins trying to outstare the orcas.
Good note as well.


  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-09-29 10:35]

Hi James. Good to see you. I think if i was a
penguins i would be jumping out of the water.It must have been a fantastic sight to see. Tfs ,

I think this is a fantastic image James. The fact that all four whales are surfacing in sync with each other is stunning. That coupled with all the penguins in sync also is super. I really like the fact that the rest of the image is pretty simple... black and white subjects within a blue and white setting. The faceted ice in the background is wonderful. Nice work.

Evelynn : )

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2008-09-29 11:01]

Hello James,
An impressive scenery. A moment of life and dead for the penguins. Great timing and a fantastic composition. Beautiful colours.

Hi James.
An amazing picture, shapes and colors wonderful. Swimming orcas and penguins on the iceberg complete the scenery. Great shot..
Kind regards and best wishes,

Hi My friend James, a marveleous shot of these synchron swimming orcas between the icebergs. Great in all around.
TFS and cheers,


  • Great 
  • gannu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 988 W: 4 N: 3277] (14761)
  • [2008-09-30 4:20]

Hello James, Very nice shot and interesting note. Well focussed and sharp picture. Ganesh

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2008-09-30 8:32]

Hello James,
A superb antarctic scene well scanned from your archives. The Killer Whales and Adele Penguins seaking refuce on the ice is well depicted in a fine composition with the environment.
TFS this great image,

  • Great 
  • PaulH Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1137 W: 26 N: 3879] (13882)
  • [2008-09-30 8:42]

i somehow seemed to have missed a few of yours James, sorry! Thanks for sharing this fascinating moment, it's a great documention of some interesting animal behaviour...really does look like a stand off...i know who my money would be on though..

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-09-30 10:16]

Hi James,

What a moment you captured in this shot! It must have been amazing to see those Orcas. I love the little penguins standing and watching them. Great view of the iceberg - must have been huge. An amazing shot of something few of us will ever see for ourselves.


  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-09-30 13:00]

This is amazing, James!
It must have been such an incredible sight.
Brilliant contrast and light.
Well timed.
Amazing work!

Cheers and TFS!!

Hi James,

Simply a stunning shot and perfect timing, to see this in the wild must be an amazing site, just breathtaking, t.f.s

Cheers Rick :)

Ciao James,
spettacolare cattura di queste grandi Orche e dei piccoli Pinguini, eccellente composizione in un contesto meraviglioso, ottima nitidezza, belli i colori e la resa della luce "fredda".

It's not like one of those shots where you could just wait for it to happen again...I know this type of shot..I have plenty of them in my drawer...always, ALWAYS save those caught in a time moment shots...Sure if it were perfect and all...I know...but "if wishes were horses, beggars would ride" :-) GREAT post James...you are a gem!

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-10-01 9:31]

Hello James,
This is a brilliant shot of the Killer Whales heading for the penguins against a terrific background. Interesting and very beautiful!
Many thanks and best wishes, Ulla

  • Great 
  • demeve Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 586 W: 12 N: 1682] (6165)
  • [2008-10-01 12:09]

Hello James,
Great capture, those penguins were in serious danger. Very
nice presentation of prey vs predator.. great POV
.. Well done


Hello James
Many times the capture far outweighs a pinsharp image..This is one of those and what a fantastic image this is...as for the tabular icebergs where you have captured just one third of the size of this in the frame..well..the scale of the Orcas and penguins really puts this into perspective.
All the Best

What a standoff!And what timing, James!
Superb work my friend!

  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2008-10-03 18:54]

Hello James,
Beautiful, black and white preditors, black and white prey and blue and white setting. Great piece of work James.

hello James

as you kno i have 2 dogs, Celtick and his son Ranger,
Celtick's name is Orca Celtick and Ranger is Ranger Catamount
(Catamount is americans puma or mountain lion),
when i saw in your image the whales of your image i said myself
it has to be orcas, i started to read your notes and i was righ,

even if with hard conditions, this is a superb shot
that in French for this kind of shots we can say :
photo pise sur le vif , fine POV and DOF
with lovely cold colour tones,

because of Celtick i love the killer whales, the orcas

TFS alot


Hi James
Wow, an dramatic capture of this stand off between Penguins and Killer Whales. I feel for the poor little Penguins, I hope they managed to stay safe. The dark gloomy day just adds to the feel of the whole situation.
TFS Janice

Hi James,
I saw Sir Attenborough's documentary, where Killer Whales play with Penguins, by tossing them into the air...



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