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UPY Portrait - Runner Up
'Curiosity among icebergs'
Rafael Fernandez Caballero
For me, the leopard seal is the most special and epic predator on the planet. It can as big as 4 meters long, it has a reptilian face and the infamy of being curious and dangerous. Although, it is can be dangerous, there are incredible stories of interaction such as those of Paul Nicklen, to whom a female brought several penguins in an attempt to teach him how to hunt. As with any wild animal, respect and care must be maximum and with this species these really have to be on another level. Working with experts and following these principles, we finally had an amazing encounter with the big female leopard seal that played with us and was really curious.
Judge's comment: Absolutely stunning encounter and very well executed. I love the ice which is framing the leopard seal in its environment. Very nice light from the strobes as well and bravely done by the photographer to keep calm in this exiting moment. It's a pity that the second flipper of the seal is not visible, though.
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