WPY 2017

Photograph Details

Finalist 2017

Behaviour: Mammals

George Karbus, Czech Republic/Ireland

Killer tactics

George was freediving, watching this pod of killer whales stunning fish with their tails before eating them. Suddenly, the mood changed as the whales regrouped 50 metres away. ‘A minute later, they came back in full attack mode,’ recalls George. ‘It was the most powerful behaviour I have ever witnessed – an intense, life-changing experience.’

Flying through the baitball at high speed with their mouths open, the killer whales will decimate this shoal of herring. This pod of around 20 individuals feed here from November to January. Each population of killer whales employs different strategies to catch prey, the mothers teaching their calves how to hunt with the group.

Technical specification

Nikon D5; 16mm f2.8 lens; 1/250 sec at f4.5; ISO 5000; Subal housing.

Senja, Norway: latitude 69.297356, longitude 17.637552 Senja, Norway: latitude 69.297356, longitude 17.637552

Senja, Norway

Intellectual property rights to all WPY images are retained by the photographers. Reproduction without prior written consent constitutes an actionable infringement. For usage enquiries please contact us.

Sign up to receive emails from the Natural History Museum about events and exhibitions, including Wildlife Photographer of the Year.

George Karbus

George Karbus, Czech Republic/Ireland

George is a wildlife, water and landscape photographer based on the west coast of Ireland. He focuses on wild marine mammals, big waves, surf photography and coastal scenery. George's work has been exhibited in Washington, Hong Kong, London and Japan, and has appeared in the pages of several magazines including Nature's Best Photography, BBC Wildlife, BBC Focus, Nikon Pro and Outdoor Photography.