Travel Photographer Susan Seubert in the Antarctic

Travel Photographer Susan Seubert in the Antarctic

Skog Bay, Antarctica

The bridge in the early morning hours as we head towards the Antarctic Circle

I recently returned from an epic journey with National Geographic Expeditions where we traveled to the Antarctic Peninsula, the island of South Georgia and the Falkland Islands.  The seas were calm for most of the voyage, making for an excellent experience exploring this remote area of the Earth. As the on-board National Geographic Photography Expert, I have the privilege of leading the photography component of this departure. I lecture on the ships about photography and help people improve their technical and storytelling skills so that they return home with a great collection of images.  Below is a selection of some of my favorite moments from this fantastic adventure.

Please enjoy the pictures and thank you for visiting!

Watching Type A Killer Whales in the Southern Ocean from the National Geographic Explorer, a ship in the Southern Ocean, Antarctica

Watching Type A Killer Whales in the Southern Ocean from the National Geographic Explorer, a ship in the Southern Ocean, Antarctica

Skog Bay, Antarctica

A Crabeater Seal hauled out on the ice in Skog Bay, Antarctica

Skog Bay, Antarctica

A beautiful iceberg in Skog Cove, Antarctica

Skog Bay, Antarctica

A Skua flies through an opening in a large iceberg in Skog Cove, Antarctica

Skog Bay, Antarctica

Sailing through fast ice, Antarctica

Skog Bay, Antarctica

Adventures on the Fast Ice, Antarctica

Booth Island, Antarctica

Sunrise on our way to Booth Island, Antarctica

Booth Island, Antarctica

A Gentoo penguin colony on Booth Island, Antarctica

Port Lockroy, Antarctica

Port Lockroy, Antarctica

Cierva Cove, Antarctica

Two porpoising Gentoo penguins and a humpback whale feeding in Cierva Cove, Antarctica. This is a once in a lifetime image!!

Danco Island, Errera Channel, Antarctica

The remains of whaling at Danco Island, Errera Channel, Antarctica

Cierva Cove, Antarctica

Porpoising Gentoo penguins in Cierva Cove, Antarctica

Point Wild, Antarcica

Point Wild, Antarctica, where Ernest Shackleton’s men spent 137 days awaiting rescue.

Gold Harbour, South Georgia

We had a persistent rainbow at Gold Harbour as seen from our ship, South Georgia

Gold Harbour, South Georgia

A rainbow and King penguins on the beach at Gold Harbour, South Georgia

St. Andrews Bay, South Georgia

Over 500,000 King penguins at St. Andrews Bay, South Georgia

St. Andrews Bay, South Georgia

An illustration of the density of King penguins at St. Andrews Bay, South Georgia

St. Andrews Bay, South Georgia

An Antarctic fur seal pup at St. Andrews Bay, South Georgia

St. Andrews Bay, South Georgia

Molting Elephant seals at St. Andrews Bay, South Georgia

Hercules Bay, South Georgia

A Macaroni penguin shows off its crest at Hercules Bay, South Georgia

Hercules Bay, South Georgia

Dramatic light at Hercules Bay, South Georgia

Maiviken hike to Grytviken, South Georgia

Hiking a scree slope in the snow from Maiviken to Grytviken, South Georgia

Right Whale Bay, South Georgia

A large King penguin colony at Right Whale Bay, South Georgia

Right Whale Bay, South Georgia

Wind gusts up to 80 knots at Right Whale Bay, South Georgia

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The colorful houses in the morning light as we pull in to the harbor at Stanley, Falkland Islands

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The classic whale bone arch in Stanley, Falkland Islands

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The quaint town of Stanley, the capital city of the Falkland Islands

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A sheep herding demonstration at Long Island Farm outside of Stanley, Falkland Islands

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Long Island Farm outside of Stanley, Falkland Islands

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Wool from the farm at Long Island Farm outside of Stanley, Falkland Islands

Carcass Island, Falkland Islands

Carcass Island, Falkland Islands

Carcass Island, Falkland Islands

Magellanic penguins molting on Carcass Island, Falkland Islands

West Point Island, Falkland Islands

A Rockhopper penguin and Black-browed Albatross colony, West Point Island, Falkland Islands

West Point Island, Falkland Islands

Black-browed Albatross chick being fed, West Point Island, Falkland Islands

West Point Island, Falkland Islands

Black-browed Albatross chicks waiting to fledge, West Point Island, Falkland Islands

crew photo NGEX, Ushuaia, ARG

The amazing group of people that I work with on board the National Geographic Explorer on our last night after 3 weeks together exploring the Southern Ocean

Portland Oregon Travel Photographer Susan Seubert in South Georgia

It’s been a whirlwind of travel for the last few years.  Now, I’m officially bipolar, meaning that I have visited both extremes of the earth, both by virtue of traveling with National Geographic Expeditions.  The first trip was towards the North Pole in Svalbard, exploring the Norwegian archipelago by icebreaker.  Then, most recently, down to the Southern Ocean to the Antarctic Peninsula and the islands of South Georgia and the Falkland Islands.

South Georgia is one of the most incredible, and remote, places on the planet. During the turn of the last century, South Georgia was home to numerous natural resource extraction operations.  Animals were harvested to the point where a number of species, including whales, fur seals and penguins, were hunted to near extinction.  Since these operations were shut down during the 1960’s, a number of species have now recovered. Since South Georgia has a tiny human population, the animals are completely perplexed but not frightened by human presence.  For wildlife photography, it’s difficult to find a more interesting and beautiful place.

One of my images from South Georgia at a landing called Gold Harbour was used on one of the expedition program guide’s covers.  I’ll never forget this morning. We had gotten up before daybreak to catch the morning light and although we only had it for a few moments, we were able to capture a number of gorgeous images of the King penguins in the golden hour of dawn.

The Brochure Cover for National Geographic | Lindblad Expeditions South Georgia and the Falkland Islands

The Brochure Cover for National Geographic | Lindblad Expeditions South Georgia and the Falkland Islands

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Travel Photographer Susan Seubert in the Falkland Islands

While visiting the island of South Georgia, I slipped in a slurry of penguin poo and mud which resulted in a very painful sprained ankle.  This left me unable to walk well when we pulled into Stanley. Instead of exploring the city I went with my fellow shipmates to a beautiful farm about an hour’s drive outside of the capital city.  One of the highlights of travel is the ability to peer into the life of the locals, which is precisely what we were able to do when we visited Long Island Farms.  The Watson family welcomed us in to their home with a beautiful spread of hand made cakes. They also gave us a tour of their property where they keep sheep, horses and chickens.  This morning was just one small bit of a much larger expedition to the Falkland Islands and South Georgia with National GeographicI’m heading back to this area in February 2017 and hope that you’ll join us!  Below are some photos from our farm visit, and tune in later for more images from this most incredible journey.

Peat Harvesting at Long Island Farm in the Falkland Islands

Peat Harvesting at Long Island Farm in the Falkland Islands

Peat Harvesting at Long Island Farm in the Falkland Islands

Peat Harvesting at Long Island Farm in the Falkland Islands

Long Island Farm in the Falkland Islands

Long Island Farm in the Falkland Islands

Tea and cakes served by the peat burning oven, Long Island Farm, Falkland Islands

Tea and cakes served next to the peat burning oven, Long Island Farm, Falkland Islands

The sheep shearing barn at Long Island Farm, Falkland Islands

The sheep shearing barn at Long Island Farm, Falkland Islands

Sheep await their turn to be sheared at Long Island Farm, Falkland Islands

Sheep await their turn to be sheared at Long Island Farm, Falkland Islands

Long Island Farm in the Falkland Islands

Sheep shearing demonstration at Long Island Farm, Falkland Islands

Bags of wool await processing at Long Island Farm, Falkland Islands

Bags of wool await processing at Long Island Farm, Falkland Islands

The tack room at Long Island Farm in the Falkland Islands.

The tack room at Long Island Farm in the Falkland Islands.

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Susan Seubert Photography in Antarctica

I just returned home from just over three weeks in Antarctica on board the National Geographic Explorer, an ice class expedition ship, where I served as the National Geographic Photography Expert.  It was an incredible experience that I will never forget.  Words cannot begin to express the vastness of the continent. Here is a link to a gallery of images from the two expeditions that I attended.  I hope you enjoy the images of the three brush-tailed penguin species, the Weddell seals, the incredible ice formations and the most elusive of creatures, the mighty Emperor Penguin.  More to come about this adventure in later posts.  Thank you and season’s greetings!

The National Geographic Explorer parked in Cierva Cove, Antarctica

The National Geographic Explorer parked in Cierva Cove, Antarctica

Gentoo penguins on Cuverville Island, Antarctica

Gentoo penguins on Cuverville Island, Antarctica

Iceburgs, Antarctica

Icebergs, Antarctica

Emperor Penguins on the Fast Ice, Weddell Sea, Antarctica

Emperor Penguins on the Fast Ice, Weddell Sea, Antarctica

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

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

Here is a time-lapse from Cuverville Island, where people and gentoo penguins go about their day.  Enjoy!

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 Photography in 2014 : An Amazing Year, in Pictures

From the North Pole to the sands of Hawaii, my cameras and I saw many incredible places.

Here are some of the highlights.

My year began in Birmingham for National Geographic Traveler for a story about the history of Civil Rights in the city, but from a traveler’s perspective. The assignment took me to the Civil Rights Museum and the inside of the 16th Street Baptist Church, both sobering experiences.  Birmingham also has a fabulous food scene from down home BBQ to some seriously delicious high-end Southern Cuisine.  The lively arts scene was a surprise, complete with small music venues and vegan restaurants.

The Wales Window at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama

The Wales Window at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama

The Bottletree restaurant, which offers vegan cuisine, and music venue located in the Avondale district of Birmingham, Alabama.

The Bottletree restaurant, which offers vegan cuisine, and music venue located in the Avondale district of Birmingham, Alabama.

The next great assignment came from the Smithsonian Magazine : photographing the Von Trapp children who have made Portland, Oregon their hometown. We spent time climbing trees and jumping on rooftops with umbrellas to get some wonderful images of these multi-talented youngsters.

The Von Trapp children in Portland, Oregon

The Von Trapp children in Portland, Oregon

From there, it was off to Baja, where I taught photography on board the National Geographic Sea Bird.  We traveled throughout the Gulf of California experiencing all kinds of wildlife. Swimming with sea lions at Los Islotes, Orca whales bow riding at midnight under a full moon and huge flocks of elegant terns choosing their mates at Isla Rasita are just a few of the amazing encounters we had during our eight day voyage.  The wildlife experts on board kept our shutters flying.

Snorkeling with California Sea Lions at Los Islotes in Baja California Mexico

Snorkeling with California Sea Lions at Los Islotes in Baja California Mexico Photographed with a GoPro Camera

Elegant terns and other sea birds gathering on Isla Rasa, Baja California Mexico

Elegant terns and other sea birds gathering on Isla Rasita, Baja California Mexico

After a few loads of laundry and some face time with the kitties, it was off to Maui for the month of May, where I shot a story about Happiness for Prevention Magazine.  We had fun making smiley faces on trees in the lush, tropical forests.  We did street casting to choose our lovely models who expressed joy with their smiles and their feet. 🙂

A tree in the forest on Maui with a happy face made of natural materials.

A tree in the forest on Maui with a happy face made of natural materials.

pink flowers with a happy face in the grass with bare feet, Maui, Hawaii

pink flowers with a happy face in the grass with bare feet, Maui, Hawaii

From Maui, I flew directly to Quebec City for National Geographic Traveler where I spent ten days on assignment.  The European vibe and French speaking Vieux Quebec made me feel as though I had crossed two oceans.

Street scenes from Vieux Quebec, the only fortified city in North America north of Mexico, Quebec City, Canada. Rue Saint Louis lighting up at dusk

Street scenes from Vieux Quebec, the only fortified city in North America north of Mexico, Quebec City, Canada. Rue Saint Louis lighting up at dusk

Lower Vieux Quebec, also known as Quartier Petit Champlain, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada

Lower Vieux Quebec, also known as Quartier Petit Champlain, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada

In June, I headed to Svalbard to work as the Photography Expert for National Geographic Expeditions on board the Explorer, a beautiful ice breaker.  We sailed among the ice sheets, spotting polar bears and photographing the most incredible blues I’ve ever seen.  The landscape around the North Pole cannot be properly captured in pictures, but we all did our best.

A polar bear with her cub on the pack ice in Svalbard, Norway

A polar bear with her cub on the pack ice in Svalbard, Norway

Austfonna Ice Cap on Nordaustlandet, Svalbard, Norway

Austfonna Ice Cap on Nordaustlandet, Svalbard, Norway

Ice floating in Svalbard, Norway

Glacial Ice floating in Svalbard, Norway

Teaching photography has been a focus of 2014. In July, I taught a group of aspiring young photographers through National Geographic’s Student Expeditions program in San Francisco.  We explored Muir Woods, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the streets of San Francisco and magnificent Big Sur.  Later in the year I taught two one-day seminars in L.A. and Portland for National Geographic on “The Travel Assignment.”

Our group portrait with all of the National Geographic Student Expeditions at the Sutro Baths, San Francisco, CA

Our group portrait with all of the National Geographic Student Expeditions at the Sutro Baths, San Francisco, CA

Our dusk shoot at the Golden Gate Bridge with Student Expeditions where we experimented with light writing and a group portrait

Our dusk shoot at the Golden Gate Bridge with Student Expeditions where we experimented with light writing and a group portrait

After wrapping in San Francisco, I photographed for several days on beautiful Bainbridge Island in Washington.  The subject?  Chickens.  Chickens and their coops for Amber Lotus, a calendar and card company.  Keep your eyes peeled for the 2016 edition of City Chickens and Their Coops!

Chickens and their Coops Calendar coming out in 2016, but it's not too late to get your 2015 copy!

Chickens and their Coops Calendar coming out in 2016, but it’s not too late to get your 2015 copy!

It was off to Switzerland in September for two weeks covering 1000 miles of Swiss bliss.  Every village and mountain peak was as picturesque as one would expect from this iconic country.  One of the many highlights was visiting a small creamery in the Alps that makes Alpkäse, a traditional cheese made entirely by hand.  I also hiked around the mountains, explored the country by train, car and boat, and (how could I resist?) sampled lots of chocolate.

A Swiss cheese-maker working on a batch of Alpkäse by hand in the traditional manner in a giant copper kettle over a wood burning fire at their cheese-making hut above Wengen, Switzerland

A Swiss cheese-maker working on a batch of Alpkäse by hand in the traditional manner in a giant copper kettle over a wood burning fire at their cheese-making hut above Wengen, Switzerland

A Swiss cheese-maker working on a batch of Alpkäse by hand in the traditional manner in a giant copper kettle over a wood burning fire at their cheese-making hut above Wengen, Switzerland

A Swiss cheese-maker working on a batch of Alpkäse by hand in the traditional manner in a giant copper kettle over a wood burning fire at their cheese-making hut above Wengen, Switzerland

What could be better than this? Crete. I flew directly there from Switzerland and was met by my husband — and my fixer.  We proceeded to spend just over a week shooting the western half of the island.  The food, people, landscape and architecture were outstanding. That story has already hit the newsstands in the Netherlands for the Dutch edition of National Geographic Traveler.

Street scenes in Chania, Crete, Greece

Street scenes in Chania, Crete, Greece

Evening street performers in the village of Paleochora on the southern coast of Crete, Greece, Europe

Evening street performers in the village of Paleochora on the southern coast of Crete, Greece, Europe

After Crete it was off to another island, our home on Maui, where we spent October and November surfing, stand-up paddle-boarding and, of course, making more pictures.  This time the assignment was for me: to explore the underwater world with a Canon 7D and an SPL water housing.  I photographed turtle after turtle, had a few octopus encounters and enjoyed a beautiful moment with a very large spotted eagle ray.

A spotted eagle ray at the reef at Black Rock in Kaanapali, Maui

A spotted eagle ray at the reef at Black Rock in Kaanapali, Maui

A large, male Hawaiian green sea turtle swims peacefully over the reef at Kaanapali, Maui

A large, male Hawaiian green sea turtle swims peacefully over the reef at Kaanapali, Maui

Thank you to all of my clients for sending me on such remarkable journeys.

You’ve made 2014 marvelous!!!

 

Photographer Susan Seubert shoots the Panama Canal for National Geographic Expeditions

One hundred years ago yesterday marked the 100th Anniversary of the opening of the Panama Canal.  The building of the canal has a long and interesting history and represents one of the major engineering feats of modern man.  France started work on the project in 1881 but stopped work because of the high mortality rate from tropical disease.  The United States took over the project in 1904.  The canal took an entire decade to complete.  The canal cuts through the Isthmus of Panama and connects the Pacific Ocean to the Caribbean Sea via 48 miles of water and a series of locks.  Last December, I was on board the National Geographic Sea Bird as the National Geographic Photography Expert for the Costa Rica and Panama Expedition.  Our final adventure in Panama was to pass through the entire canal, including spending some time on Isla Barro Colorado at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute.  Our route took us through the canal from the Pacific to the Caribbean.  It was a truly remarkable experience.  Here are some  pictures to illustrate our transit.  Enjoy!

Panama city as seen while Transiting the Panama Canal, Panama including views of Frank Gehry's colorful Bio Museum

Panama city as seen while Transiting the Panama Canal, Panama including views of Frank Gehry’s colorful Bio Museum

Entering the canal by passing under the Bridge of the Americas near Panama City

Entering the canal by passing under the Bridge of the Americas near Panama City

After being at sea and experiencing the world of tropical jungles, it was a jolt to suddenly be in the middle of an industrial area, which is itself surrounded by dense forest in some areas.

After being at sea and experiencing the world of tropical jungles, we were jolted  to suddenly be in the middle of an industrial area, which is itself surrounded by dense forest.

Panamanian officials joined us in order to ensure safe passage through the locks system.

Panamanian officials joined us in order to ensure safe passage through the locks system.

Barro Colorado Island, a site for the study of lowland moist tropical forests owned by the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in the Panama Canal and is part of the Barro Colorado Nature Monument.

Barro Colorado Island, a site for the study of lowland moist tropical forests owned by the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in the Panama Canal and is part of the Barro Colorado Nature Monument.

How big are the trees?  Very big. :-)

How big are the trees? Very big. 🙂

You definitely will feel like swimming because of the heat and humidity, but you'll be taking your chances with the wildlife.

You definitely will feel like swimming because of the heat and humidity, but you’ll be taking your chances with the wildlife.

A very cooperative Spotted Ant bird was sitting very still for a portrait.  I quickly learned that it was because I was standing on top of its prey, which were making themselves quite at home on my shoes, then pants, then, eeek!!!

A very cooperative Spotted Ant bird was sitting very still for a portrait. I quickly learned that it was because I was standing on top of its prey, which were making themselves quite at home on my shoes, then pants, then, eeek!!!

Our ship, the National Geographic Sea Bird, tethered to one of the trains that guide the ship through the canal.

Our ship, the National Geographic Sea Bird, tethered to one of the trains that guide the ship through the canal.

Most ships that transit the canal are huge, industrial type vessels.

Most ships that transit the canal are huge, industrial type vessels.

We arrive at the Caribbean Sea!  Such an amazing experience.

We arrive at the Caribbean Sea! Such an amazing experience.