WPY 2018

Photograph Details

Highly commended 2018

Animals in Their Environment

Sergey Gorshkov, Russia

A Bear on the Edge

For Sergey, this photograph of a solitary polar bear walking steadily along a glacier is ‘a symbol of Franz Josef Land’. It speaks of the vulnerability of an iconic animal that depends entirely on this frozen wilderness. His powerful composition gives no hint of the biting wind and icy sea spray he had to endure while taking it.

The Russian Arctic National Park has recently been expanded to include the 191 uninhabited islands of Franz Josef Land. With a lack of data for this remote region, both polar bear numbers and rates of sea ice decline are unknown. This presents problems for polar bear conservation, as researchers need data to understand the impact of climate change here.

Technical specification

Nikon D5 + 70–200mm f2.8 lens at 98mm; 1/3200 sec at f5; ISO 500


Champ Island, Franz Josef Land, Russia: latitude 80.71742, longitude 56.210606 Champ Island, Franz Josef Land, Russia: latitude 80.71742, longitude 56.210606

Champ Island, Franz Josef Land, Russia

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.



Love this image?

Choose your favourite from this year's collection. You can only choose once.

Top five favourites

Sergey Gorshkov

Sergey Gorshkov, Russia

Sergey is the founding member of the Russian Union of Wildlife Photographers. His images are printed in magazines around the world and he has garnered awards in Russia, the UK, Italy and France. He also organises personal exhibitions and seminars in Russia and Europe.

  • Arctic treasure
  • The duel
  • The cauldron
  • Desert survivor