WPY 2011

Photograph Details

Highly commended 2011

Underwater Worlds

Louis-Marie Préau, France


'I have never forgotten,' says Louis-Marie, 'the first time I saw a European beaver under water delivering a branch to its family.' He is passionate about beavers and has returned each season for the past four years to the same spot on the Loire River in France to try to photograph what he saw that first time. Last summer, wearing snorkelling gear, Louis-Marie eventually got lucky. Using weights so he could lie on the river bottom, being careful not to move and frighten the beavers, he finally photographed this adult dragging a poplar branch back to the dam for its kits. 'It looked like hard work,' says Louis-Marie, 'a long journey and a long time holding its breath.'

Technical specification

Canon EOS 5D + 16-35mm lens; 1/125 sec at f4; ISO 800; Ikelite housing.

Touraine, France: latitude 47.0913, longitude 0.235961 Touraine, France: latitude 47.0913, longitude 0.235961

Touraine, France

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.

Sign up to receive emails from the Natural History Museum about events and exhibitions, including Wildlife Photographer of the Year.