It was a long, steep scramble in the dark to catch the blue light before sunrise. To get both the limpets and distant rocks in focus and correctly exposed, Theo merged 21 images. A small flashlight masked with a handkerchief gave a radiant touch to the limpets against the jagged rocks behind. A dramatic backdrop for a familiar subject.
The conical forms of the limpets mirror the tiny barnacles surrounding them and the folded rocks behind. A muscular foot clamps each limpet to the rock and stops it drying out at low tide. Once the sea returns, they move around scraping algae off the rocks with teeth made of a mineral–protein composite – the strongest natural material ever found.
Canon EOS 5DS R; Laowa Venus 15mm lens; 1 sec (average over 21 images) at f16; ISO 1250; Gitzo tripod, Really Right Stuff ballhead and Novoflex focusing rail; flashlight.
Praia da Ursa, Sintra-Cascais Natural Park, Portugal
Sign up to receive emails from the Natural History Museum about events and exhibitions, including Wildlife Photographer of the Year.
Love this image?
Choose your favourite from this year's collection. You can only choose once.
Theo Bosboom, The Netherlands
In 2013 Theo turned his back on a legal career to pursue his dream of being a professional photographer. His photographs are have been published in magazines such as National Geographic (Dutch), GEO, Outdoor Photography and BBC Wildlife. He has won numerous awards in international photography competitions and has published two photo books: Iceland Pure and Dreams of Wilderness.