Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
1/1250s @ f/6.3 ISO 100 @ 400mm
Everyone visiting Galapagos wants to see the Blue-footed Booby, I was no exception. The adolescent in me couldn’t wait to tell people I was on the hunt for “Boobies” in South America. I wasn’t disappointed, I ended up seeing tons of them during my two-week visit. That’s not always the case, and depends largely on the time of year you go, and whether it’s the nesting season or not.
The Blue-footed Booby is a large seabird with bright blue feet (a sexually selected trait). Males display their feet in an elaborate mating ritual by lifting them up and down while strutting before the discerning female. The original foot fetish I guess. Approximately one half of all breeding pairs (in the world) nest in the Galapagos Islands.
You can walk right up to these goofy looking birds as long as you observe the 2-meter separation rule. That is true of most the wildlife in Galapagos, it is a wildlife photographer’s paradise in that regard. I took this photo with my 400mm and actually had to step back quite a bit to get him entirely in the frame. 400mm is often too much lens in Galapagos, and I often switched it out for my more flexible 70-200mm zoom lens.
This was captured later in the morning, after the overcast burned off, and it was exceptionally bright allowing me to shoot at ISO 100 (hence the extraordinary image resolution). Low ISO coupled with Canon’s stellar 400mm lens made the shot. Giving some credit to the Booby of course. Galapagos is a truly AMAZING adventure destination, and I would gladly go back in a heartbeat. If you ever get the opportunity to visit don’t let it pass you by.
Stephen F. Dennstedt
Photographer, Writer and World Traveler
Currently in South America