Aurora Jellies

Audun Rikardsen's Image

Moon jellyfish swarm in the cool autumnal waters of a fjord outside Tromsø in northern Norway illuminated by the aurora borealis.

Sheltering his equipment in a self-made waterproof housing, Audun used a single exposure as well as his own system for adjusting the focus and aperture during the exposure. This enabled him to capture the reflection of the sky’s colours in the surface of the water and at the same time light up the jellyfish with flashes. Moon jellyfish are common in all oceans and are easily recognised by their four rings, which are in fact their genitals.

Behind the lens

Audun Rikardsen

Audun Rikardsen


Audun is a photographer and full-time professor of biology at the Arctic University of Norway. Growing up in a small fishing community in northern Norway, he developed a lifelong fascination with the Arctic's rough landscape, culture and wildlife, both above and below the ocean's surface. He uses his fieldwork photography to inspire his students and to draw attention to the science.

Image details

  • Canon EOS-1D X
  • Laowa 12mm f2.8 lens
  • 34 sec at f2.8–22 (changed during exposure)  •   ISO 1600  •   two Canon 600 flashes in underwater housing
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.

More images from Audun Rikardsen

View all

Support our important work

Help us harness the power of photography to advance scientific knowledge, spread awareness of important issues and nurture a global love for nature.

Donate now


Discover more

Sign up to our newsletter

Receive email updates about Wildlife Photographer of the Year news, events, science, products, services and fundraising activities. We may occasionally include third-party content from our corporate partners and other museums. We will not share your personal details with these third parties. You must be over the age of 13. Privacy notice.