Rockhopper, chinstrap, Adélie, magellanic and, of course, ninja – the Earth community can't get enough of penguins.

Earth Capture contributors Andrea Schmidt and Shawna Sertich spoke to BBC Earth about their experiences photographing this ever-popular seabird.

Andrea and Shawna visited isolated penguin colonies in the chilly Southern Ocean. There they met penguins who were totally unfazed by their human guests, each species just as intrigued by the other, allowing for some wonderful close-up shots.

For Shawna, an intrepid traveller from Minneapolis, wildlife and nature go hand in hand with travel. She recently photographed Adélie and chinstrap penguins on the Antarctic Peninsula.

"They had no fear of humans," she says. "Some would come right up to you if you waited patiently. The noise - and smell - of hundreds of penguins is something I'll never forget."

Shawna spent a nerve-wracking 30 minutes watching this smiley-faced chinstrap carefully navigate his way around sleeping elephant and fur seals.

"The look on his face after making it all the way back was priceless. I was happy to snap a photo at just the right moment."

On one of her last days in Antarctica, Shawna headed out on the icy Weddell Sea, which is often inaccessible to boats. She came across dozens of Adélie chicks waiting on the ice for their parents to return with food.

A little further north in Argentine Patagonia, Andrea travelled to the appropriately named Isla Pinguino (Penguin Island) where she found herself in the middle of a rockhopper colony.

A professional photographer based in Germany, Andrea says the famous flightless bird is one of her favourite subjects.

"Penguins are one of the most photogenic and curious animals," says Andrea, who has a background in biology.

"I saw with my own eyes why rockhopper penguins have that name. They just jump everywhere, it doesn't matter the size of the rock."

Wildlife photography gives Andrea the opportunity to be in constant contact with nature and get close to some of the most amazing animals in the world.

Andrea's top tip for budding wildlife snappers is to always practice and, if possible, find a professional to give you feedback.

"You don't need to travel to the other side of the world. Practice in your garden, or a park, with birds and macro photography."

Want to get involved? Join the next film and photo challenge by visiting BBC Earth Capture.