Pearls of spring
Each year Solvin marks the end of winter by going into the field to photograph toads emerging from hibernation and migrating to their breeding ponds. This time he went to Solling, in western Germany, a wildlife haven with both forests and wetlands. As the ponds began to boil with mating toads, he chose his location and carefully lowered his camera and strobes into the water, trying to avoid disturbing either the toads or the muddy bottom. By linking his camera to his laptop with a special USB wire, he could see all the activity below the surface and take intimate, non-invasive pictures. 'To me the toadspawn looks like threaded black pearls,' says Solvin, 'neatly arranged in the scenery.' He was captivated by the event, as he has been since childhood, and rejoiced in the spring sunlight and the sounds of frogs, toads and running water - 'all somehow reassuring after the long winter'.
Nikon D3s; modified wide-angle lens; 1/250 sec at f8; Seacam housing; three Seacam strobes; remotely triggered using Nikon Camera Control Pro 2 software.
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