Let me introduce you to a seabird known as the Laysan albatross.
Or mōli, in Hawaiian. This seabird is equipped with magical powers to cause your eyes to widen, your jaw to drop, your opinion of birds to change, and your understanding of an albatross to be anything other than a burden. Albatross will make you a birder. They will make you a science geek. A fan of physics. Albatross will make you a believer in the goodness of the world. A lover of nature. A protector of the ocean. A champion of the environment.
Albatross biographer Carl Safina says:
how ALBATOGRAPHY works:
For every image you purchase, I'll donate 20 percent of the net proceeds to organizations helping albatross, such as the Kauai Albatross Network, Cornell Lab of Ornithology's Albatross Cam, Pacific Rim Conservation, or Hawaii Wildlife Center. I'll rotate these organizations throughout the season.
For now, to keep things simple as I learn how e-commerce works, I'm making these images available in three sizes of metal prints. A little about the metal: The image is infused directly into specially coated sheets of aluminum, adding a magical luminescence to the image. Professional lab testing shows image stability of the metal print is two to four times that of traditional silver-based photo papers. And for those of you who live in salty, humid climates like Hawaii, I've done my own testing, too. I left a metal print on my covered lanai to test for corrosion. One year later and no rust or pits of any kind have appeared. In fact, cleaning the dust and salt buildup is fast and super easy--a wet rag and mild soap. Because if you're like me, you'd rather be out in nature than inside the house wielding a dust rag.
Throughout the Laysan albatross breeding season, from November through June, I'll add more images as the season progresses, so you can witness the whole process alongside me. We'll start with Laysan albatross arriving back at their breeding grounds in early November. Then, we'll have adults in nests with eggs. Then, eggs pipping and chicks hatching. After that, we'll follow the long growth and development of chicks until they fledge in June or July. Throughout, I'll share biological details, as well. For over 10 years, I've been a wildlife interpreter with FWS and NOAA, and I'm happy to share what I know, as I do most Saturday mornings at Kīlauea Point National Wildlife Refuge. (Come by. Say hi.) Professionally, I'm a freelance journalist. If you'd like to learn more about that side of my life--and read some stories I've penned for Smithsonian, Audubon, Popular Science, The Atlantic, and more--you'll find those details about me at this website.
It all started one winter when I flew to Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge in the North Pacific to count albatross nests. Maybe it was the sound of their courtship mooing and whinnying outside my window that seeped into my being as I slept. Perhaps it was the ocean scent of their sun-warmed feathers emanating off their big bodies. Since then, I've come to love the majestic albatross, in particular the Laysan albatross. I write about them for national and local magazines. On behalf of the Department of Fish and Wildlife, I monitor a large colony of them on the Hawaiian Island of Kauai where I live. And I photograph them. With their artistic faces, the tender love they express toward their lifelong partners and their chicks, and their outstretched, six-and-a-half-foot wings in flight, they make beautiful portraits.
And, yet, I want to do more for albatross. I want to give back. I've decided the way I can do that is through my photography. (Why let these images sit on a hard drive in my desk drawer when they can fly free into the world;-)
Please know I practice Audubon’s Guide to Ethical Bird Photography at all times. Basically, I believe the bird's welfare is more important than my photograph. My super telephoto lens is practically glued to my camera body, so I can keep my distance from the birds. In fact, I'm not sure the last time I took it off my camera body. By the way, in case you're wondering, Canon. I shoot Canon. Always have. Likely always will. But that beast of a telephoto zoom lens seems to be getting heavier as I get older.
Oh, lastly, all images on this site are solely the property of Kim Steutermann Rogers. These photographs are protected by copyright laws, and are not to be downloaded, printed, or reproduced without express written permission of Kim Steutermann Rogers.