Audun wanted to juxtapose the peace above the water with the playfulness below. But he faced a considerable challenge. The light is so low during the polar night that normal underwater housings – waterproof casing for cameras – will not work for split-level pictures. So Audun developed his own. Then, it took patient planning to capture this moment.
Before migrating south, humpback whales begin to play and sing more intensely in the bays around Tromsø. It’s thought the males are serenading the females ahead of the forthcoming mating season. With their wide, powerful tail flukes and long flippers, these 40-tonne animals launch themselves out of the water in a graceful arc.
Canon EOS-1D X; 11-24mm f4 lens at 11mm and 1.2 Lee filter; 1/100 sec at f5.6; ISO 1600; custom-made housing.
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Audun Rikardsen, Norway
Audun grew up in northern Norway and has always been fascinated by the Arctic coast. He works full-time as a professor of biology at the University of Tromsø. As a part-time photographer he integrates photography into his fieldwork and uses his images to inspire his students and make his scientific results public.