Testing Times

Alberto Fantoni's Image

Alberto likes to know his subjects well, so he observed the Alpine ibex year-round. He knew that their most brutal fights took place during the summer mating season, or rut, but also that ‘short tests of strength’ – like this one – happened in the winter. After walking up a steep slope, mindful of crevices hidden in the snow, Alberto found these two, horns locked.

The two ibex pictured were fighting to establish social dominance and access to partners during the winter mating season. The third ibex was watching with its upper lip curled. This is known as flehmen – a courtship behaviour in which an animal raises its nose to the air with its mouth slightly open.

Behind the lens

Alberto Fantoni

Animals and local landscapes have always fascinated Alberto. Thanks to his father Luca and his grandfather Alberto, he has been passionate about nature photography from a young age. The animals of the Alps and northern Italy are his favourite subjects. Winner of prestigious international competitions, he has been awarded several times at Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year.

Image details

  • Canon EOS 7D Mark II
  • Canon 100–400mm f4.5/5.6 lens
  • 1/1250 sec at f6.3 (+1 e/v)  •   ISO 640
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