Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Bite 76: Paul Nicklen - Leopard Seal, Antarctica, 2006

Leopard Seal, Antarctica, 2006 (National Geographic)
Photographing below the ice in sub-zero temperatures in Antarctica, nature and wildlife photographer Paul Nicklen was confronted by a large leopard seal. An animal with few natural predators and being potentially highly dangerous towards humans, Nicklen was fearful for his life when the creature approached him.

What commenced however was a never-before-seen encounter with a little-known animal, resulting in award-winning images captured in the most extreme of circumstances.

The leopard seal, instead of killing Nicklen, as it could easily have, proceeded to collect animals to 'aid' the photographer, treating him as a creature in need. It would leave, kill a small animal, bring it back and parade it before him. This misunderstood animal is revealed then as having a very different side to its fearsome reputation.

The series is currently on view in the exhibition Extreme Exposure at The Annenberg Space for Photography, Los Angeles.