I travelled to Svalbard (Spitsbergen) in March 2013 with some Norwegian friends. I had never been there in winter so I was very excited to visit this extraordinary place when everything was covered in snow and ice.
With snowscooters we crossed the island and moved to the uninhabitated east coast. Fjords were still covered with ice sheets that were at least half a meter thick, and winds were blowing at -25°C.
This was the time baby Ringed seals were born, so I carefully scanned the ice with the binoculars. I could see several adult Ringed seals lying on the ice, enjoying the soft sunlight. At a distance of a few kilometers I noticed something much smaller and pale. I knew this had to be a freshborn Ringed seal puppy, so I immediately went and take a look!
I had been dreaming a long time to photograph white seal puppies, because they are so cute to see!
So when I saw this cute puppy I was really excited, and started to photograph it with my 600mm, lying on the cold ice myself, to get a nice viewpoint.
After a while I was really satisfied with my pictures, but when I started looking at the seal without the camera, I realised I needed to take some pictures with a wide-angle lens, to include the beautiful arctic scenery. To even include more habitat, I took some panoramic pictures, which I merged later with Photoshop. This gave me a real satisfying result. When I look back at the picture I get cold again, and wished I was there again.