A Gentoo penguin chick is seen in front of a dark backdrop peak. (Albert Dros)

A Gentoo penguin's chicks scream for food from her. (Albert Dros)

Dutch photographer Albert Dros is mainly known for his landscape photography. But this year he discovered a passion for photographing wildlife after coming face to face with penguins during a trip to Antarctica. This newfound interest dovetails neatly with his enduring one for landscapes because they are both essential elements of nature. And as Dros told In Sight: “I see nature as my greatest inspiration. Every day nature shows me something new and invites me to capture it.”

Dros traveled to Antarctica while working as a photography teacher onboard the Greg Mortimer ship with Iceland Photo Tours.

“I was on the boat to teach people about photography and help them in the field,” he said. “But for me, it was the first time being there, as well. I’m mainly a landscape photographer. But upon visiting Antarctica for the first time early this year, I had no choice but transition into a wildlife photographer. I love animals, and how can you not love penguins? Everything they do is ‘cute.’ Not just their looks, but the way they move, interact and behave is so fascinating. I instantly fell in love and knew I had to make a photo series to try and get that feeling across.”

The transition from primarily photographing landscapes to making photos of penguins was not without its challenges. Landscapes are mostly immobile, but penguins are a different story because, well, they move around a lot more.

“I am used to shooting landscapes that don’t move. Penguins move a lot,” Dros said. “When you’re in Antarctica, there’s just so much happening around you. I didn’t know where to look. There are little scenes everywhere, and I had to decide what to capture. I wanted to capture these moments, but I am a perfectionist: I’m not only looking at the penguins … but also looking at the backdrop and the environment a lot. I want a picture to be perfect. This was very challenging, as often there would be thousands of penguins packed together, and it would be difficult to see which one to single out for a picture.”

Dros’s efforts paid off. He was able to capture scenes of the penguins going about their lives. And Dros captured them with beauty, breathtaking backdrops and even a little humor.

You can see more of Dros’s work on his website. And you can check out his first short film, “Amsterdam — My Home.”


A Gentoo penguin feeds her chicks. (Albert Dros)

A penguin walks in the snow. (Albert Dros)

An Adélie penguin chick. (Albert Dros)

An Adélie penguin chick. (Albert Dros)

Two Adélie penguins. (Albert Dros)

A Chinstrap penguin walks up rocks during a moody afternoon. (Albert Dros)

Penguin highways are a thing. The birds use certain paths to travel back and forth from the water. They walk behind each other and follow the leader. (Albert Dros)

A group of Adélie penguins run into the water one after another. (Albert Dros)

A penguin jumps out of the water. (Albert Dros)

Two penguins take a walk. (Albert Dros)

A bird does a calling on an island. (Albert Dros)

In Sight is The Washington Post’s photography blog for visual narrative. This platform showcases compelling and diverse imagery from staff members and freelance photographers, news agencies and archives. If you are interested in submitting a story to In Sight, please complete this form.

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