WPY 2011

Photograph Details

Winner 2011

Creative Visions

Stefano Unterthiner, Italy


The winter gathering of whoopers on Lake Kussharo, on Hokkaido, Japan, was a picture of chaos. The swans were constantly standing up, sitting down, heading off, interacting and calling. 'I suddenly saw that this could be the key to a completely different kind of image - one that shows the rhythms of a flock's movements,' says Stefano. He started to imagine the group of swans as one, flowing over the ice, seen at different points in time and space, and he set out to create the illusion. The swan enters lower right, wanders around a bit, sits down a few times, and exits top right - a single shot of continuous time and motion.

Technical specification

Nikon D700 + 24-70mm lens; 1/320 sec at f16; ISO 1000.

Lake Kussharo, Hokkaido, Japan: latitude 43.6038, longitude 144.325 Lake Kussharo, Hokkaido, Japan: latitude 43.6038, longitude 144.325

Lake Kussharo, Hokkaido, Japan

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Stefano Unterthiner, Italy

Stefano works with his wife Stéphanie, with whom he founded the publishing house Ylaios and created The Little Wild Gallery, his personal photography gallery in the Forte di Bard (Italy). He was recently chosen by the Valle d'Aosta region to endorse their ecotourism project VIVA. Since 2009, he has regularly collaborated with National Geographic magazine.

  • Arrangement of swans
  • Cat attack
  • Crane perfection
  • Spirit of the mountains
  • A vision of self
  • Last glance
  • No man’s land
  • A taste of humanity
  • Portrait of Nona
  • Where yakis end up