A curious polar bear, Ursus maritimus, cub swims through icy waters as its mother sits on a barrier island in the distance, Bernard Spit, Beaufort Sea, during late summer along the arctic coast of Alaska. Bears are increasingly being found on land in summer and early fall waiting for the sea to freeze up so they can head out onto the ice to hunt. I was photographing from an Inupiaq friend’s boat from a ways out, and this young bear broke through the ice and swam up to the boat. Hanging off the boat with my 12-24 mm lens, I realized what the picture was – a wide-angle photo of this bear up to its chest in broken ice and water, symbolizing the plight of the polar bear in the arctic - speaking visually of it not being able to have ice to survive on. Fall, October 5, 2007, 3:25 a.m.

EQUIPMENT/DETAILS: Nikon D2X, Tokina 12.0-24.0 mm f/4 lens; 1/400 at f6.3; ISO 200

Discover more inspiring photos like this one.

Download the FREE 500px app Open in app