©Wolfgang Kaehler

Wolfgang’s Top 10 #7 Galapagos

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#7 Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

by Michelle Alten

As a professional travel photographer, Wolf has traveled to over 160 countries around the world. We continue the countdown of his top 10 favorite destinations.

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When Wolf stepped onto a beach on Fernandina Island in the Galapagos, it was low tide.   He spotted two marine iguanas nibbling algae on the rocky shore.  Alcedo Volcano in the background would make this the perfect shot.  In order to photograph them at eye level, he dropped down on his belly and began inching towards the prehistoric-looking reptiles, the only marine-oriented lizards in the world.  The stones, covered with barnacles, sliced his stomach and elbows until he was I was covered with dripping wounds.  He continued framing the iguanas and shooting what would become a tremendously successful image.  “It was a bloody-good shot,” Wolf says with a grin recalling that it was widely published in many magazines and books.

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On his first trip to the Galapagos Islands, Wolf marveled at the abundance of wildlife and the ease with which visitors could observe its behavior.  This must have been how Charles Darwin felt when he first encountered this natural sanctuary in 1831 during his journey on the HMS Beagle and later developed his theory of evolution.  Blue-footed boobies thrilled Wolf with their comical courting behavior, including a hokey-pokey-like dance.  Galapagos tortoises, weighing up to 500 pounds and reaching 150 years old, crept along the slope of Alceda Volcano on Isabela Island.   Frigate birds, with brilliant scarlet throat pouches attracted not only other frigate birds, but Wolf and other dazzled photographers.  And flocks of pink flamingos preened their silky feathers and strolled Floreana Island’s sandy beach.  Where else could he, like Darwin, marvel at such a stunning menagerie?

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In the Galapagos, each season and month offers a different spectacle, so it is important to consider the timing of your visit.  Wolf likes to time his photo tours to take advantage of some of the most exciting breeding behavior like the courtship of the blue-footed boobies and the waved albatrosses.

If you are interested in visiting the Galapagos Island with me, please contact me. photos@wkaehlerphoto.com

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