Overall Winner Audun Rikardsen (Norway)

Gesamtsieger/Winner 2016: Auden Rikardsen
A breath in the polar night
A fjord near Tromsø in northern Norway: it is early January, and while a fishing trawler is hauling up its nets, a group of orcas tries to grab a free meal. The extreme cold and high humidity create a magical mist on the sea. My boat, my camera and even myself are covered in ice crystals, turning photography into a real challenge. It takes hours before I finally manage to capture an orca taking a breath on the surface of the sea.

Canon EOS-1DX, 2.8/24-70mm, ISO 4000, flash Canon 600

Biography Audun Rikardsen
Audun Rikardsen grew up in a little fishing village in the north of Norway, and has always had a special fascination for the Nordic coasts; their culture and wildlife both above and under the ocean's surface. He is a professor of biology at Tromsø University, and to make the best use of his free time, most of his photographs have originated from around his local area. Originally, he worked as a fish biologist, but today his research focuses on the behaviour of whales. His grandfather was a whaler and so his interest for marine mammals was kindled from an early age.
He often combines his photography with his scientific work, thus benefiting from his knowledge of local wildlife and habitat. Audun’s photography projects document the dramatic changes of the marine eco-systems in his home region, the onset of which began a few years ago during the winter months. To depict the world above and below the water's surface he has developed a unique camera system including a special underwater housing and powerful flash system that produces good results in the poor light conditions of the polar winter. www.audunrikardsen.com

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