Sunday Star-Times - Sunday Magazine - - COVER STORY -

Audun Rikard­sen, Nor­way/ Fi­nal­ist 2016, un­der­wa­ter cat­e­gory/ Wildlife Pho­tog­ra­pher of the Year

Audun wanted to jux­ta­pose the peace above the wa­ter with the play­ful­ness below. But he faced a con­sid­er­able chal­lenge. The light is so low dur­ing the po­lar night that nor­mal un­der­wa­ter hous­ings – wa­ter­proof cas­ing for cam­eras – will not work for split-level pic­tures. So Audun de­vel­oped his own. Then, it took pa­tient plan­ning to cap­ture this mo­ment. Be­fore mi­grat­ing south, hump­back whales be­gin to play and sing more in­tensely in the bays around Tromsø. It’s thought the males are ser­e­nad­ing the fe­males ahead of the forth­com­ing mat­ing sea­son. With their wide, pow­er­ful tail flukes and long flip­pers, these 40-tonne an­i­mals launch them­selves out of the wa­ter in a grace­ful arc.

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