Head to head

Stefano Unterthiner's Image

Stefano followed these reindeer during the rutting season. Watching the fight, he felt immersed in ‘the smell, the noise, the fatigue and the pain’. The reindeer clashed antlers until the dominant male (left) chased its rival away, securing the opportunity to breed.

Reindeer are widespread around the Arctic, but this subspecies occurs only in Svalbard. Populations are affected by climate change, where increased rainfall can freeze on the ground, preventing access to plants that would otherwise sit under soft snow


Behind the lens

Stefano Unterthiner

Stefano Unterthiner

Italy

Stefano became serious about photography at 17 and went on to obtain a PhD in zoology from the University of Aberdeen (Scotland). He is the author of nine photography books, a multi-award winner in Wildlife Photographer of the Year and a regular contributing photographer for National Geographic magazine. Stefano has run many long-term multimedia projects, the latest being A Family in the Arctic.

Image details

  • Nikon D5
  • 180–400mm f4 lens at 400mm
  • 1/640 sec at f4  •   ISO 3200
Copyright in WPY competition photographs remains the property of the respective photographers. You may not copy, share, reproduce or republish the photographs except as expressly permitted by copyright law. For media image usage enquiries, please contact us.

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