Full of power and majesty, whales are favored subjects among wildlife photographers. As a professor of marine biology at the University of Tromsø and scientific advisor at the Norwegian Institute for the Study of Nature, Audun Rikardsen has an unparalleled view into the world of whales. In 2010, Rikardsen began photographing the incredible beauty that surrounded him during his field work, and has quickly made a name for himself as an award-winning photographer.
Most of his images are taken north of the Arctic Circle and show an incredible understanding of light and composition. Rikardsen's whales splash dramatically under the colorful Arctic sky or flit around the Norwegian boats that have become part of their daily life. The photographer brings his knowledge as a biologist to the table, capturing the whales with sensitivity. “For me, nature photography is about having fun, remembering special moments, and sharing my fascination of the Arctic coastline's wildlife and culture, often from new and unusual perspectives,” Rikardsen shares.
As arctic sea ice diminishes and industrial development of the area increases, 17 arctic whale species will be forced to adapt—making Rikardsen's documentation all the more important. His keen eye provides us insight into the hidden world of these majestic creatures, and if you are looking to learn from the best, he also leads workshops and trips focused on wildlife photography.
All images via Audun Rikardsen.