Walking along the shore of the Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica, Nick discovered the carcass of a Pacific green turtle. The endangered reptile was probably a by-catch victim, unintentionally caught by a shrimp trawler, and then discarded. When Nick spotted American black vultures descending to feed, he seized the chance to highlight the issue. He set up his camera close to the carcass, operating it remotely to avoid disturbing the vultures. In the low light, he had to balance the depth of field with a shutter speed fast enough to freeze the movement of the birds and capture the storytelling image he wanted. The vultures continued to squabble over the meal for hours, and had nearly devoured the entire carcass when the tide washed away the remains.
Nikon D4 + 16–35mm f4 lens at 17mm; 1/640 sec at f6.3; ISO 3200; Nikon SB-700 flash; Gitzo tripod + Induro ballhead; remote shutter release.
Tambor Bay, Costa Rica
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Nick Hawkins, Canada
After graduating with a degree in biology, Nick began to pursue a career as a wildlife photojournalist. For the past few years, he has been dividing his time between Costa Rica and his home in Canada, working on a variety of different projects. He believes that photography and storytelling are key components of conservation, and his work has won several awards.