WPY 2011

Photograph Details

Highly commended 2011

Behaviour: All Other Animals

Cyril Ruoso, France

Cold embrace

Cyril couldn't believe his ears. Some 2,000 metres (6,500 feet) up in the French Alps, beside a lake covered with ice, he could hear a frog chorus. They were singing away, presumably in the gap of air between the ice and the water. Ten days later, the ice began to melt, and the first choristers appeared. Cyril says, 'The males jump on anything that moves - even on my equipment,' holding on with the aid of the dark nuptial pads on their thumbs. Here, one male is holding onto another as they both wait for a female to show up. Cyril positioned his hide on the bank and carefully set up his camera and split-level lens half in the water, together with both underwater and above-water flashes and a cable linking the camera to his monitor. 'I wanted to portray everything about this extraordinary habitat - the mountains, the ice, the water and the cold - and create a shot which would show that even the most common species is extraordinary.'

Technical specification

Canon EOS 5D + Sigma 14mm f2.8 HSM lens; 1/160 sec at f20; ISO 200; custom-made housing; Inon D2000 S + Canon 580EXII + Nikon SB-24 strobes; hide.

Alps, France: latitude 45.4613, longitude 6.68194 Alps, France: latitude 45.4613, longitude 6.68194

Alps, France

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Cyril Ruoso, France

Cyril has travelled the world in search of stories for 20 years. His first encounter with the Borneo orangutan influenced his work by giving pride of place to primates. He also focuses on species too often considered trivial - this is the idea behind the project "Planet Frog".

  • Tiny warm-up
  • Puddle of procreation
  • Newt style