A place of extremes, of vulnerability, of vastness, of unknowns. Yet teeming with life. Emperor Penguins are magical. The ecosystem that supports them is fragile. The journey to experience it all tested my determination and fortitude. I did it because it matters. So do the penguins; so does the Antarctic. I’ve had a lot of help and support throughout my life. Now perhaps it is they – the penguins, their land – that need help and support. Because it matters. And a Lone Star Emmy confirms it…“Against All Odds” tells the story of why.


About the Film

“Against All Odds: Emperor Penguins of Snow Hill Island, Antarctica” reflects my love as a nature photographer for our polar regions. In its 15 minutes, photographs, video clips and story are woven together into a tapestry depicting the majesty, fragility and balance that define this surreal land. Sharing and producing a meaningful, educational, beautiful piece about nature has been my utmost objective with my photography.
About Dee Ann Pederson

“I’ve loved nature all my life. With a few ‘detours’ along the way, travels as a child have grown into a career of meaning and purpose.”

Dee Ann is an award-winning nature photographer and field tour leader who shares her passion for nature through her images and leading photographic journeys across the globe. Her abundant energy and “wanderlust” have led her across our planet for 20 years in search of nature’s splendor. She is as at home in the frigid Arctic or Antarctic as she is in the heat of the Serengeti. Photographs from her journeys have been published and honored by National Geographic, the North America Nature Photography Assoc., The Smithsonian (Nature’s Best/Windland Smith Rice Int’l. Awards) over six separate years, including the 2016 “Wildlife” category winning image, and most recently, the 2020 Lone Star Emmy for her short film “Against All Odds: The Emperor Penguins.” Dee Ann’s images are sold as fine art prints as well as for editorial and commercial use; she has published her “Nature’s Inspirations” calendar since 2004.

“My message is perhaps low-key and simple, yet powerful and crucial: our planet is a place of staggering variety and beauty, yet it’s the only one we’ve got, and it needs us more than ever – to nurture the tapestry that supports us all.”
The Emmy

September 2020 delivered a nomination for a Lone Star Emmy award. Then an article honoring my journey and film by the Dundee (Scotland) Courier. The “virtual” program for this year’s Lone Star Emmy Award Show did not reduce enthusiasm or calm any nerves, yet to hear: “And the winner is: ‘Against All Odds’” was the highlight of my career. An instant flashback of my past 20 years as a photographer brought me to tears, with a confirming reminder of why I do what I do … why the rigors of 100+° in India or -20° in blowing snows of Antarctica seemed to melt away in that “one special moment” - a glimpse into what makes it all worthwhile.

The film won in the category entitled: “Health/Science: Program Feature”



--- 15 Minute Film: “Against All Odds” Full Film
--- Film Trailer: “Against All Odds” Trailer
--- In The News: Dundee Scotland “Courier”  
--- Downloadable: Press Kit PDF
--- Website, Windows of Nature:


Review #1 - forthcoming

Review #2 - forthcoming

Review #3 - forthcoming

Review #4 - forthcoming
Why I Do It: FAQ
Why it matters. It’s about reciprocity. We need the Penguins; the penguins need us. We need the penguins … so as to remind us of what is real and wild and precious and meaningful and sustainable in this world. The Penguins need us … to make sure we don’t destroy all of that – for them and for us. Reciprocity
What it involved. Aboard the Russian ice breaker Kaptain Khlebnikov … crossing the Drake Passage for two days, with the ship rolling, often to 26° … breaking through the thick ice of the Weddell Sea … landing by helicopter near Snow Hill Island … hiking two miles across the ice through snow to our knees, all at -20°, limited visibility and snow. And it was worth every moment of the challenge. There were moments I found myself wondering, “Will I make it?” And then … long before I could see them, I heard them – adults and chicks. Adrenaline pushed me the last hundred yards. There are no words to express the majesty of these creatures. I could not have asked for a more rewarding experience in nature.
An historical perspective. As difficult as the conditions were, I could not stop thinking about early explorers here – Shackleton, Mawson, Ross, Amundsen, Scott – and how they held the determination and courage to brave this part of the world, with gear far inferior to ours today, with travel technology largely unavailable, and in a land that was still largely unknown. Their achievements deserve praise and honor.
About the penguins. Emperor Penguins hold many records … including the record of holding more records than any other bird. They’re the tallest (4 feet), heaviest (up to 90 pounds), the only bird to breed on sea ice, and to do so during the Antarctic winter, the deepest diver (800 feet or more), the only bird whose incubation is the male’s responsibility, and more.
The Exhibition
Photos & Educational Materials on exhibit for guest enjoyment upon arrival.
Looping photographic slideshow in theater venue while guest are seated.
Dee Ann to talk and introduce film.
Film viewing.
Dee Ann engages with guests Q&A.
All photography and videos in “Against All Odds” are from my 2018 expedition to Snow Hill Island, Antarctica. The message that accompanies them is my perspective on this time and place, and is a reflection of how these special moments touched me. I solicited the expertise of David Alexander of Houston Creative Media as Editor/Motion Graphics Artist/Sound Engineer.
Contact Info
Dee Ann Pederson