Susan Seubert featured on National Geographic’s “What We Liked” Blog

What a great way to begin 2016!

National Geographic Creative maintains a blog of what pictures they like, and for January 1, 2016, they featured my photograph of a chinstrap penguin.  This image was made on Half Moon Island in Antarctica and the blissful bird appears to be dancing its way across the snow.

Chinstrap penguins on Half Moon Island, South Shetland Islands, Southern Ocean, Antarctica

Chinstrap penguins on Half Moon Island, South Shetland Islands, Southern Ocean, Antarctica

I love this image because the penguin is seemingly so happy, and joy is something that I strive to express in many of my photographs.

Thank you to the folks at National Geographic Creative for featuring one of my images!  You can see the full post here.

This image was made with a Canon 7D Mark II using a Canon EF 400mm f/4 DO IS II USM lens.

Aperture Priority f7.1, ISO 400, shutter speed 1/4000s.

Photographer Susan Seubert with National Geographic Expeditions in the Kimberley, Australia

The National Geographic Orion anchored at Prince Frederick Harbour, The Kimberley, Western Australia

The National Geographic Orion anchored at Prince Frederick Harbour, The Kimberley, Western Australia

I recently returned from a month spent in the Kimberley region of Western Australia working on board the National Geographic Orion as the photography representative for the National Geographic Society. This expedition is part of a larger program that National Geographic developed by partnering with Lindblad Expeditions to provide unique travel experiences for the adventuresome. I worked along side biologists, zoologists and geologists who illuminated the journey with their expertise. My contribution was pictures – documenting the trip every day and sharing these images with my fellow travelers. I also taught people how to make great pictures under sometimes challenging conditions.

The Kimberley is one of nine regions of Western Australia. It is in the northern part of the continent and is bordered by the Indian Ocean, the Timor Sea, and two Deserts: the Great Sandy and Tanami. The eastern border is Australia’s Northern Territory.

Because we were exploring by ship, most of our shore excursions involved landing by zodiac. This rugged area is sparsely populated, so there was rarely another soul in sight. The Kimberley embodies the true spirit of the Australian outback where one can observe saltwater crocodiles, dugongs, sharks and sea snakes in the wild. On land, furry animals are rare, but we were lucky enough to see a rock wallaby while exploring the Ord River. The Kimberley supports myriad species of birds, which made the trip that much more exciting.

A gray reef egret takes flight. Prince Fredrick Harbor, Mitchell River National Park, Kimberly Coast, Australia

A gray reef egret takes flight. Prince Fredrick Harbor, Mitchell River National Park, The Kimberley, Australia

At King George Falls, I was part of the expedition team leading a group hike up a 17-degree incline to the top of the falls. Because of the lack of rain during the wet season, there was no water at the top, but the view was worth the hot scramble up the rocky trail. Our group climbed without incident so we were able to have a good amount of time to explore the scrub-land that would be otherwise inaccessible during the wet season.

Me, at the top of twin falls. King George River, Kimberly Coast, Australia. Photo by Adam Cropp

Me, at the top of twin falls. King George River, The Kimberley, Australia. Photo by Adam Cropp

Below is a selection of images from my adventures on board the Orion in The Kimberley. I hope you enjoy them! You can see all of the images from the Kimberley adventure by clicking here.

Our technical stop at Timor Leste, where the local children sold textiles to us tourists on the pier.

Our technical stop at Timor Leste, where the local children sold textiles on the pier.

Vansittart Bay, Kimberley Coast, Australia

Hugging a Boab tree for good luck at Vansittart Bay, The Kimberley, Australia.  Photo by Cristiana Damiano

Man tasting ascorbic acid defensive spray from green weaver ants in the Kimberley, Vansittart Bay, Australia

Photographer and Naturalist David Cothran tasting ascorbic acid defensive spray from green weaver ants in the Kimberley, Vansittart Bay, Australia

B-24 Liberator plane crash site at Vansittart Bay, Kimberley Coast, Australia

C-53 plane crash site at Vansittart Bay, The Kimberley, Australia

Termite mounds, Vansittart Bay, Kimberley Coast, Australia

Termite mounds, Vansittart Bay, The Kimberley, Australia

A traditional owner explains the Wandjina Rock art at Ngumbri, Raft Point, Kimberly Coast, Australia

A traditional owner explains the Wandjina Rock art at Ngumbri, (Raft Point), The Kimberley, Australia

King George River, Kimberly Coast, Australia

The amazing sandstone formations at the King George River, The Kimberley, Australia

King George River, Kimberly Coast, Australia

Climbing up to the top of the waterfalls at King George River, The Kimberley, Australia

King George River, Kimberly Coast, Australia

King George River, The Kimberley, Australia

King George River, Kimberly Coast, Australia

A darter on the King George River, The Kimberley, Australia

Naturalist Anthony Capogreco checks underwater for jellies and crocodiles at Crocodile Creek, The Kimberley, Western Australia

Naturalist Anthony Capogreco checks underwater for jellies and crocodiles at Crocodile Creek, The Kimberley, Australia

Kimberly Coast, Australia, Mitchell River National Park

A venomous sea snake with a fish in its mouth swimming towards us at the mouth of the Hunter River, The Kimberley, Australia

King George River, Kimberly Coast, Australia

A basking saltwater crocodile, King George River, The Kimberley, Australia

Gwion Gwion, or Bradshaw Rock Art, dated to be perhaps 50,000 years old, at Jar Island, Kimberly Coast, Australia

Gwion Gwion, or Bradshaw Rock Art, estimated to be 50,000 years old, at Jar Island, The Kimberley, Australia

Sunset sail away from Slug Island

Sunset sail away from Slug Island, The Kimberley, Australia

Unless otherwise indicated, all of these images are copyright © Susan Seubert and may not be used in any form without express permission from Susan Seubert.  Thank you for respecting the images. 🙂

Susan Seubert Photographer: Learning by Observing

Four American Robin Chicks in their nest outside our kitchen window

Four American Robin Chicks in their nest outside our kitchen window

For the first time, I’ve had the pleasure and privilege to watch a robin build a nest, incubate eggs and have a successful hatch just outside of our kitchen window.  The American Robin is one of the most common birds found in urban settings and will often nest near, or on, homes throughout North America.  I’ve learned a lot about the behavior of Turdus migratorius by observing, and photographing, them almost daily since the babies hatched around the beginning of this month.

American Robin, nesting in a camellia bush in Portland, Oregon with 4 chicks

American Robin, nesting in a camellia bush in Portland, Oregon feeding her chicks blueberries

I read that the the incubation ranges from 12 to 14 days, which was spot on for this mother of 4.  Now we are eagerly waiting for the babies to fledge, as it appears that they are very crowded in their nest and their wing feathers look like they are well developed.

With so many chicks in one tiny nest, I wondered how the nest stays so clean.  It turns out that in addition to feeding the babies worms and berries, the robin also “changes the babies’ diapers” by removing the waste directly from the bottoms of the chicks.  This may not be the most appetizing topic, but I was amazed at how efficient the bird is at keeping house.  Below are some photos from the last week.  I built a “blind” in the kitchen in order to keep our peering eyes mostly hidden so as not to disturb the nestlings.  There was plenty of glare which the blind reduced, but it was still challenging photographing through dirty glass.  All of these pictures were made with the Canon 7D Mark II which has a beautiful sensor and a fabulous frame rate, which is what allowed me to capture such a fast and intimate moment.  The RAW files were processed using Adobe Lightroom.

The Kitchen Window Blind: Baby Robins in their nest in a Camellia bush

The Kitchen Window Blind: Robin chicks in their nest in a Camellia bush

It has been an illuminating experience to watch how quickly these cute little birds grow and I will certainly miss them when they leave the nest.

A mother American Robin removing the excrement from the bottom of one of her chicks

An American Robin removing the excrement from the bottom of one of the chicks

A mother American Robin removing the excrement from the bottom of one of her chicks

An American Robin removing the excrement from the bottom of one of the chicks

A mother American Robin removing the excrement from the bottom of one of her chicks

An American Robin removing the excrement from the bottom of one of the chicks

A mother American Robin removing the excrement from the bottom of one of her chicks

An American Robin removing the excrement from the bottom of one of the chicks

A mother American Robin removing the excrement from the bottom of one of her chicks

An American Robin removing the excrement from the bottom of one of the chicks

A mother American Robin removing the excrement from the bottom of one of her chicks

An American Robin removing the excrement from the bottom of one of the chicks

A mother American Robin removing the excrement from the bottom of one of her chicks

An American Robin removing the excrement from the bottom of one of the chicks

A mother American Robin removing the excrement from the bottom of one of her chicks

An American Robin removing the excrement from the bottom of one of the chicks

 

Update on June 13, 2015

This morning, three out of the four nestlings fledged!  There is still one in the nest and it looks very ready to leave.  It’s preening and standing up to stretch its legs.  What a wonderful experience this has been.

Update on June 13, 2015

The last robin fledged this evening.  Sniff.

The last to fledge

The last to fledge