WPY 2012

Photograph Details

Commended 2012

Animals in their Environment

Alessandra Meniconzi, Switzerland

Rocky stranding

It was late summer in northern Norway, and Alessandra was out in a dingy. But driving snow, terrible wind, poor light and seasickness meant that conditions weren’t ideal for photography. The situation for the polar bear was, however, much worse. The ice around Svalbard had melted, stranding the bear ashore on one of the islands. Its only sustenance was the skeleton of a beached whale, and the bear would have been unable to hunt seals again until the sea froze over several months later.

Technical specification

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III + 300mm f2.8 lens; 1/640 sec at f6.3; ISO 800.


Spitsbergen, Svalbard, Norway: latitude 78.647934, longitude 18.164125 Spitsbergen, Svalbard, Norway: latitude 78.647934, longitude 18.164125

Spitsbergen, Svalbard, Norway

Intellectual property rights to all WPY images are retained by the photographers. Reproduction without prior written consent constitutes an actionable infringement. For usage enquiries please contact us.

Alessandra Meniconzi, Switzerland

  • Gobi oasis