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Slick – Edin Whitehead – Photography

I’ve been looking for monochrome images while out shooting recently – paying more attention to light, shade, and contrast rather than colour. This photo – shot on an Albatross Encounter trip out from Kaikōura – was a perfect opportunity with a monochrome bird! Karetai hurukoko – Cape petrels are ubiquitous, southern ocean companions to any ship in the seas here and southwards toward Antarctica. They’re unique in their checkerboard patterning, and although birders tend to get sick of them, I’m always happy to see them. They’re beautiful. When there’s no other birds around, they help me keep my flight-shot skills sharp on long days at sea.

Here the water was mirror-calm and a deep blue-grey. A monochrome profile in Adobe Lightroom and some contrast adjustments were all it needed to pare it down to a slick simplicity – and water reminiscent of black oil slicks. After the MV RENA catastrophe, oil spills and pollution are something I often think about in terms of threats to our seabirds, particularly in the high-boat traffic region of Tīkapa Moana, the Hauraki Gulf.

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