During the polar nights when the sun never rises, it is just 4°C in the tumultuous, frigid Norwegian Sea. The city of Tromsø is further north than many people ever venture – 350km above the Arctic Circle. These are facts that don’t deter Canon Ambassador Audun Rikardsen. In pursuit of photographs of Nordic wildlife as it has never been seen before, he uses his Canon bodies and trusted L-series lenses in punishing conditions: left for days, weeks and months in snow, sleet, hail and wind.
Some of his photographic success can be attributed to his advanced understanding of animal behaviour and scientist’s access, while some is down to sheer grit; Audun thrives on making the impossible possible. “It’s not luck,” he says of his more remarkable work. Rather, his thirst for great photography is driven by constant dissatisfaction. Leaving his camera in mountain hides for months at a time to capture eagles at their resting places, submerging it in icy waters to photograph whales frolicking and placing it nose-to-lens with polar bears, he achieves captivating shots that educate the masses.
“Have you ever wondered what it feels like to be a fish, looking up at a predator?” Audun asks. It’s lines of inquiry such as this that have led to his more notable images. He often finds that the sights and perspectives he can’t see with his own eyes, he can capture through a skilfully positioned lens.
It’s not luck, it’s science: the technical feats behind Audun Rikardsen’s amazing Artic photographs
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