WPY 2011

Photograph Details

Runner-up 2011

Underwater Worlds

Paul Souders, USA

Salmon swipe

'I set out to show a salmon's-eye view of a swimming bear swiping at a fish with its huge paws,' says Paul. The location he chose was Katmai National Park in Alaska, and he arrived in time for the late-summer runs of red and chum salmon heading upstream to spawn. Grizzly bears cluster around good fishing spots on the rivers to gorge on salmon, in preparation for the long winter. At shallow points, they wade into the water to try to grab the fish. 'I found an accessible pool,' says Paul, 'just below a steep set of river rapids, where the salmon rested before the difficult climb upstream.' He submerged his camera on a ballasted tripod, and with a radio-controlled remote trigger sat across the river and waited - for four days. Bears turned up with different hunting strategies - sprinters and splashers, stalkers and swimmers. This adult female was one of the best hunters, using all the techniques and eventually providing the action Paul was after.

Technical specification

Canon 1Ds III + 16-35mm lens; 1/250 sec at f10; modified housing; radio remote-control.


Katmai National Park, Alaska: latitude 59.099747, longitude -155.19865 Katmai National Park, Alaska: latitude 59.099747, longitude -155.19865

Katmai National Park, Alaska