WPY 2010

Photograph Details

Winner 2010

Animal Portraits

Eirik Grønningsæter, Norway

Predatory steps

This is the last view a seal might have. It's a viewpoint that Eirik set out to get when, from his boat, he spotted the polar bear resting close to shore on Kvalbeinøya, an island in the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard. Knowing that polar bears are insatiably curious, Eirik set up his camera on the snow, within sight of the bear, hoping that 'the ground view and wide angle lens would give a totally different kind of image'. Sure enough, the moment Eirik retreated to his boat, the bear made straight for the camera, checking it out from all angles, gently pushing it around. It even picked it up in its mouth. 'By not including the whole animal, I wanted to leave the end of the story untold,' says Eirik. The intimacy also conveys a powerful gentleness about the polar bear. When eventually it got bored and dropped the camera, there wasn't even a toothmark in the rubber.

Technical specification

Canon EOS 40D + 10-16mm f.2.8 lens; 1/250 sec at f13; ISO 640; remote control.


Kvalbeinøya, Svalbard, Norway: latitude 76.9944, longitude 22.1894 Kvalbeinøya, Svalbard, Norway: latitude 76.9944, longitude 22.1894

Kvalbeinøya, Svalbard, Norway

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Eirik Grønningsæter, Norway