2013 Travel Highlights: Top 10 Wildlife Photographs


Top 10 Wildlife Photographs of 2013 Travels

This was the year I noticed a shift in my travel style.  Instead of being a traveller who takes photographs, I felt more like a photographer who travels.  Instead of an extra pair of shoes, I packed an extra camera lens.  Instead of feeling bored whilst queuing at the airport check in counter, I felt nervous in case they asked to weigh my carry-on bag.

Travelling inspired my new interest in photography.  And photography is now the inspiration behind my travel destination choices.

Top 10 Wildlife Photographs

In 2013 I gravitated towards destinations that offered the opportunity to observe wildlife in it’s natural environment.  In Antarctica, the Arctic, Australia and South Africa I discovered that great wildlife encounters can happen in seconds, but more commonly require patience and perseverance.  Regardless, the rewards can be exhilarating, amusing and thought-provoking.

From the thousands of photographs I returned home with at the end of 2013, these are my ten favourites.

1. Kittiwake Runway – Arctic (Svalbard)


Canon 7D, 100mm, ISO 200, f/4.5, 1/2500sec

Location: Svalbard Arctic, from a zodiac

2. Open Wide – Leopard Seal, Antarctica

Zodiac Cruising - Neko Harbour, Antarctica

Canon 7D, 260mm, ISO 250, f/6.3, 1/4000 sec

Location: Neko Harbour, Antarctica, from a zodiac

3. Where’s Wally – King Penguin Colony, South Georgia

Salisbury Plain, South Georgia

Canon 7D, 100mm, ISO 200, f/7.1, 1/500sec

Location: Salisbury Plain, South Georgia, taken from land

4. A Face Only a Mother Could Love – Walrus, Svalbard Arctic


Canon 7D, 400mm, ISO 640, f/7.1, 1/800sec

Location: Svalbard Arctic, taken from a zodiac

5. King of the Arctic – Polar Bear


Canon 7D, 400mm, ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/3200sec

Location: Svalbard Arctic, taken from the ship

6. Sunrise Stroll – South Africa


Canon 5D Mark II, 80mm, ISO 400, f/6.3, 1/250sec

Location: Thanda Game Reserve, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa – taken from safari jeep

7. A Sense of Place – Humpback Whale, Antarctica

Zodiac Cruising - Petermann Island, Antarctica

Canon 7D, 320mm, ISO 400, f/11, 1//1600sec

Location: Near Petermann Island, Antarctica, taken from the zodiac

8. In Flight – Snowy Sheathbill

Larson Harbour, South Georgia

Canon 7D, 320mm, ISO 400mm, f/11, 1/1600sec

Location: Larsen Harbour, South Georgia, taken from the ship

9. Dinner – Barn Owl

Barn Owl - Kangaroo Island

Canon 5D Mark II, 300mm, ISO 320, f/5.6, 1/250sec

Location: Raptor Domain Centre, Kangaroo Island

10. Happy Hour


Canon 5D Mark II, 93mm, ISO 100, f/4.0, 1/1600sec

My Favourite?

From the thousands of photographs I shot this year, it was quite the challenge to find my top ten.  So is it even more difficult to select my favourite?  Not really!  “Kittiwake Runway – Arctic (Svalbard)” tops my list.  It is a photograph of contrasts that for me, symbolises what I love most about the polar regions.  The busy and crowded flock of kittiwakes contrasts again the soothing lines of the iceberg.  The vibrant black and white colour of the birds contrasts perfectly against the blue hues of the ice.  And the combination of wildlife and landscape is symbolic of the wild and rugged Arctic environment.

What is your favourite?



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Kellie is a traveller and photographer who is most at home when exploring the world beyond it. Through the intersection of her travel, writing and photography passions, she shares her experiences to inspire others to create there own. The desire to live life instead of existing through it has introduced Kellie to inspirational locations throughout seven continents and from this a passion for landscape and wildlife photography has evolved. She feels a particular connection to the polar regions and Africa. You can see more of her photography at www.kellienetherwoodphotography.com


  1. These are incredible! Stunning! Makes me want to upgrade my camera to a proper dslr…thought perhaps I should upgrade my skills first…

    • Buying a DSLR is a great motivation to upgrading your skills but not the only way – in fact I’m in the middle of writing a post on ways to improve your photography without an expensive camera. Watch this space!

  2. Hi Kellie Happy Holidays !
    Your work is stunning and inspirational !! I’m so glad I cam across your site and several of the other travel writers this year, it not only has provided me with inspiration and motivation but a gateway to places I hope to one day experience myself!

    Wish you the most success in 2014 !!

    • Thanks Ed and best wishes to you in 2014! I was just checking out your snowy owls post, what a beautiful bird!

      Yes, connecting with like-minded folks is a great way to share experiences but also share ideas and dreams.

      Happy travels, writing and photography in 2014

  3. VERY nice collection. I agree with your choice for #1, although I really like #3 as well. I had a similar experience on the Beagle Channel. Wishing you similar journeys in 2014. 🙂

  4. Being a wildlife guy myself, I can’t but not, compliment you for the wisdom you share here. Kudos!

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