Wednesday, 18 May 2011

To expect the unexpected

As a wildife photographer, one is always on the hunt for new stories to make and new images for the archive. When I enter into nature, I usually have an idea of what image I want to capture. At least what species to photograph. However, since I am only working with wild animals it is more than often that not everything goes as planned and I come home empty handed. At other times, just like this week, I don't get what I set out to get but something totally different.

Last week, a friend and I spent several nights in what is arguably the area with densest brown bear population in Europe. At this time of the year, the possibillity to find females with very small cubs is at its best. The dream would be to photograph a bear family feeding on a moose kill in a boreal forest settting. But even to catch a glimpse of the large carnivores is a challenging task in Scandinavia, due to decades of people hunting them. Anyway, many hours and several nights without any sleep we didn't find any bears and I decided to take a short trip to the coast instead.

A couple of weeks ago, I was interviewed by the radio about some dolphins turning up far away from their normal distribution range. My hope was that these still were around. After the dolphins got media coverage, they turned into celebrities and many people and local photographers have enjoyed their unusual visit. The luck was on my side this time, and even though the sea and light was not ideal for photography I really enjoyed spending 3 hours watching these fantastic sea mammals. Because of the size difference between the two animals, I am pretty sure it is a mother and her calf. As far as I know, there are only about 15 previous records of Common dolphin in Norway - so this was a highly appreciated addition to my Norway mammal list which now is counting 13 different whale species.

Common dolphins is a bit of a head ache for the taxonomists, and common dolphin might actually consist of two or even three different species. The ones turning up this far north is believed to be Long beaked common dolphins.

It is ironic though, that after spending a week deep inside the Scandinavian forest, I come home with dolphin pictures on my camera. But as a wildlife photographer, I learned a long time ago to be versatile and always expect the unexpected.

- EG -

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