Kimberly Jeffries. Kings of the Kelp.

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King Penguins fly through a Kelp Forest.

Capturing the image of king penguins swimming through the dense kelp forests in the remote sub-Antarctic territories was a thrilling challenge and an awe-inspiring experience. The journey to this remote location was fraught with difficulties, from navigating treacherous ocean currents to adapting to the unpredictable weather patterns typical of the sub-Antarctic. Despite these challenges, the sight of the king penguins elegantly navigating through the kelp was stunning. With the help of a rebreather I was able to observe them unobtrusively as they flew through the forest. These majestic birds, adapted perfectly to their environment, moved with a grace that belied their size.

This photograph aims to highlight the delicate balance of marine ecosystems, showcasing the beauty of the king penguins in their natural habitat, while also underscoring the importance of preserving these unique underwater forests. The image captures a moment of pure, unguarded wildlife behavior, a testament to the resilience and adaptability of life in one of the planet's most extreme environments. I hope this image inspires awe and a deeper appreciation for the need to protect these incredible ecosystems against the looming threats of climate change and human interference.

Kimberly Jeffries is an underwater cinematographer and photographer based in Hawai’i, known for her work in marine conservation and diving. Her work focuses on protecting the ocean’s fragile ecosystem and uplifting the female voice. 

Kimberly’s passion for marine conservation and environmental advocacy is reflected in her work, which has been featured in numerous documentaries, films and publications. She has worked with some of the biggest names in the industry, including National Geographic, Discovery Channel, and Netflix. 

As a skilled technical dive instructor, Kimberly has been able to capture images and footage in even the most challenging environments, from the depths of the ocean in arctic waters to the tropics. 

Follow Kimberly on Instagram @kimberlyswimberly.

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