Patience and Flexibility: Galapagos Wildlife

Over winter break, my family travelled to the Galapagos for 10 days, an experience we were all incredibly lucky to have. While the landscapes of the archipelago are stunning, I think it's fair to say that the biggest draw of the Galapagos is the unique wildlife. Of course, I was excited to photograph the birds and other incredible animals that we were going to see.

The only hitch was that I don't at all consider myself a wildlife photographer, so the trip was a great learning experience for me, shooting subjects that are different from my usual fare. The challenge was to make an image that tells a story about the animal pictured, instead of being just a picture. This required some creativity, and a lot of patience – you don't have nearly as much control about your background, or the posing of your subject, as you might when photographing landscapes, climbing, or skiing, so to some extent, you're left waiting for the expression to be right. Beyond that, experimenting with some more unusual crops to highlight shapes and textures lead to some successful images, as well. Here are some of my favorites – comments are appreciated! Most animals are identified in the caption, if you're curious.