Spotting killer whales in the misty polar water, Audun grabbed his equipment and hurried to his boat. Without a light to set the focus – in the rush, he’d forgotten his torch – and with ice crystals freezing to his beard, Audun followed the sound of the whales’ blows for six freezing hours before capturing this ethereal moment.
Thought to be the most widespread mammal after humans, killer whale populations vary significantly in appearance, behaviour, prey choice and communication. Differences are so clear that distinct groups in the same region do not even interact with each other. These different populations may soon be split into several new species or subspecies.
Canon EOS-1D X; 24-70mm lens at 42mm; 1/40 sec at f5.6; ISO 4000; two Canon 600 flashes.
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Audun Rikardsen, Norway
Audun grew up in northern Norway, and has always been fascinated by the Arctic coast. He is a professor of fish biology at the University of Tromsø, and most of his images are taken locally or on field work. He has won several awards, including Arctic Photographer of the Year in 2014 and the WPY Portfolio Award in 2015. Audun hopes his images will help inspire nature conservation.