2022 Edition

Clément Cornec

Shadows Come to Life, 2016


Category - Polar Wonders

Shadows Come to Life, 2016

The emperor penguin breeds in winter in Antarctica – in other words, in the coldest environment on Earth. Average temperatures drop to -40°C during the long polar night and blizzards can blow at speeds of 250 kilometres per hour along the coast. The emperor penguin is capable of a whole series of anatomical, physiological and behavioural adaptations to maintain its body temperature with minimal energy expenditure. We are here in the heart of the austral winter during my 15-month mission in Antarctica. After several weeks of following the breeding of the emperor penguins, the first females were leaving the colony after egg laying. At the time of this shot, the weather conditions were extreme: nearly -50°C, violent winds exceeding 100 kilometres per hour, low luminosity... a technical challenge.

16-300 mm f/3.5-6.3 Lens - 1/640 sec at f/13 ISO 100