2024 Edition

Florian Ledoux

On the Thin Ice

Polar bear on the sea ice, Norway, 2021

Category - Polar Wonders

On the Thin Ice

Every winter, we spend months out on the ice documenting and living with polar bears, witnessing their incredible behaviour and power. This aerial image shows a solitary polar bear gracefully walking on the newly formed sea ice on the north-east coast of Svalbard in Norway. A fascinating sequence in a frozen landscape that is fragile and ephemeral. The Arctic's relentless storms shattered the old fast ice in March, and when the sea ice reforms later in the season, it is thinner than before and all the more vulnerable to storms. However, these months of March and April, which have become unstable, are the polar bears' favourite time to hunt on the sea ice, proving once again the extraordinary adaptability of these animals in one of the world's most hostile environments.


28 mm f/2.8 Lens - 1/10 sec at f/4 ISO 100