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Braving Blizzards And Bitter Cold

Nature, second prize stories

1996


Penguins stoically shrug off a spring snowstorm. At the onset of the Antarctic winter, all creatures flee north to escape the most forbidding environment on earth - except the emperor penguins. Not only do these regal birds brave the inclement climate, but this is also their mating season. Each impregnated female lays a single egg, which the male then incubates for nine weeks, braving blizzards and bitter cold. After the chicks have spent two months in their parent's pouch, they are left in a 'day-care center' where they huddle together for warmth. As the ice hardens in March, penguin colonies numbering between a few hundred and 60,000 congregate in Antarctica's Weddell Sea. The largest of 17 penguin species, adult emperors measure up to 1.22m and weigh over 27kg.


Commissioned by: National Geographic


 

Photo Credit: Frans Lanting

Frans Lanting has been hailed as one of the great nature photographers of our time. His influential work appears in books, magazines, and exhibitions around the world. Born in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, he earned a master’s degree in economics then moved to the United States to study environmental planning. Soon after, he began photographing the natural world–and never turned back.

Lanting’s work is commissioned frequently by National Geographic, where he served as a Photographer-in-Residence. Lanting has received many honors for his work. In 2001 H.R.H. Prince Bernhard inducted him as a Knight in the Royal Order of the Golden Ark, the Netherlands’ highest conservation honor. He has received top honors from World Press Photo, the title of BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year, and the Sierra Club’s Ansel Adams Award.  He has been honored as a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society in London and is a recipient of Sweden’s Lennart Nilsson Award.

“Frans Lanting has set the standards for a whole generation of wildlife photographers.”

 

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