Puffin, Ingolfshöfði, Iceland
Starting with a cross section of what impressed me with Iceland, this time, I'll show you a puffin after last week's glacier lagoon.
Puffins (Fratercula arctica) are quite funny birds. Despite their looks, they move funny, and we have seen more than one "crash landing" in the water. The occasionally heard "clown" attribution certainly has a reason. We have seen puffins at different places, at Flatey Island in the north, Borgarfjördur in the east, and Ingolfshöfði in the south (these were the places where we stopped). It was interesting to see the different distances when the puffins start to avoid you, at Ingolfshöfði, where this picture was taken, you could get quite close when being careful, whereas at Flatey, where the birds are regularly hunted, you had to do a lot to get even remotely close for a decent shot (which I'll post eventually).
This picture was again taken with my Sigma 70-200/2.8 in conjunction with a 1.4x teleconverter. The puffin completely filled to height, I did a small crop on the x-axis for composition reasons. The dark background, which vanishes nicely outside the depth of field, is a natural field of black sand/ash, resulting from vulcanic activity and massive glacier runs. The dots you see are not artificially created, in fact, there was no post processing done (aside from exposure compensation), but rather a part of the background, since that black sand was not that homogeneous.
If you are interested, feel free to check out my whole Iceland set at my homepage, or rather the current state it is in. My favorites from there will get here onto flickr. Yes, I take proposals. :)
#66 in Explore on 2009-06-28. Thank you!