WPY 2014

Photograph Details

Finalist 2014


Herfried Marek, Austria

Skating on sunlight

Herfried had set off to photograph grouse in the forest near his home in Styria, Austria. But he ended up being mesmerised by pond skaters. The patterns of light on the dark water of the forest pool first caught his eye. Then he started watching the designs created by the pond skaters. Photographing them was not easy. The bugs, which are less than a centimetre long, were moving constantly. And the changing light in the forest produced a kaleidoscope of patterns. Standing effortlessly on the water, the pond skaters are buoyed by surface tension and tiny water-resistant hairs covering their bodies. They propel themselves by their middle legs, using their hind legs as rudders, as they chase small invertebrates. Hand-holding his camera, Herfried finally managed to frame the moment when three individuals paused close together in pools reflecting the sky.

Technical specification

Nikon D7000 + 28–300mm f3.5–5.6 lens at 300mm; 1/80 sec at f11; ISO 1250.

Donnersbachwald, Austria: latitude 47.3835, longitude 14.12 Donnersbachwald, Austria: latitude 47.3835, longitude 14.12

Donnersbachwald, Austria

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Herfried Marek

Herfried Marek, Austria

Herfried’s love for nature photography stems from his desire to reveal how fascinating nature is, to raise awareness and inspire conservation. Most of his pictures are taken in his native Austria, where he works as a nature photographer and a loan broker. He has won many national and international awards, has collaborated on several books and produces an annual calendar.

  • Golden birch