In our last blog, we took a look at some of our favourite human moments from Nikon photographers, ambassadors and fans from around the world. In this edition of our favourite Nikon stories, we are showcasing some of the most breathtaking wildlife stories from our 100th Anniversary series. From wolves, to sharks, bears, and munk’s devil rays, take a look at these fascinating images, all beautifully captured on a Nikon.
- Vincent Munier – The Lying White Wolf
We start our wildlife series with Nikon European Ambassador, Vincent Munier, who was lucky enough to photograph the elusive white wolf in Ellesmere Island, Canada. This stunning photograph was taken minutes after a pack of nine wolves had begun circling him, which Vincent describes as one of the most breath-taking moments of his life.
- David Bittner – The Playful Bear Cub
This next photograph was caught completely by chance. Photographer David Bittner had been watching Baloo, a bear, for many years and one day he set up his D800E where Baloo liked to catch salmon. Baloo was sleeping some distance away, when suddenly, a mother bear and her two cubs arrived. David had never seen a bear take interest in a remote camera before, but this young cub inspected his camera, picked it up and played with the cable connecting the camera and remote receiver. Initially excited, David triggered one photo after another, although soon realised he needed to protect his kit. Trying to scare the cub without alarming its mother was trickier than David anticipated so all he could do was watch developments from a safe distance and record the situation, which led to this amazing photo. David said, “although I didn’t manage to rescue my gear, the encounter with the family of bears and the photos it produced, remain vividly etched in my memory.”
- Florian Schulz – Flight of the Rays
This astonishing aerial view of a huge congregation of Munk’s devil rays was taken over the Sea of Cortez, Baja California in Mexico. It’s not unusual to see these smaller relatives of the manta ray somersault out of the water – locals call them ‘tortillas’ because of the way they slap back down into the water. Photographer Florian Schulz comments, “When I first saw this wildlife phenomenon, I wasn’t sure what I was looking at. It was hard to tell how many rays there were”. This amazing image shows just a quarter of the whole scene. Florian cropped the photo to emphasise just how concentrated the rays were. No one knows why the rays gather like this; whether to mate, herd prey, migrate, or just for the sheer joy of being together.
- Stefan Warter – Fox in Berlin
Next up, this compelling shot of a fox in Berlin was taken when photographer Stefan Warter was shooting for a car advert. As the caterers prepared food and the car was being unloaded, Stefan was startled by the approach of a fox, sniffing and lifting its nose in the direction of the buffet. Stefan comments, “At first I was the only person to see him. Luckily, besides the D810 that was already mounted on the tripod, I also had a D5 to hand in the boot of the car. I took a roundabout route to the car so I didn’t scare him off. The light was still dim at 4.30am. I took up position, set the AF point to lower left and took a photo in silent mode. At that moment someone on the team shouted, “Hey look, a fox!” – and he was gone. I only had one exposure, nothing else. But it was crisp, good and atmospherically so beautiful.” This photo is proof that you should always have a camera at the ready – luck can pave the way for some brilliant shots.
- Steve Lichtag – The Great White
Finally, in 2000, during the filming of ‘Carcharias – The Great White’, Steve Lichtag was at sea, waiting for the protagonist to arrive. Steve comments, “During the wait, a camera man climbed into the safety cage on our ship, ready to capture some footage, and I started playing with his new F70, just out of curiosity. Suddenly, someone shouted ‘Great White starboard!’. I turned around and quickly focussed the lens to 40cm and leaned over the side of the ship. The shark shot to the surface like a rocket, aiming straight at me. Water sprayed everywhere as the shark emerged like a torpedo, only missing my head by a few centimetres.” All Steve could do was aim the Nikon camera straight into its open mouth and press the shutter.
Stay tuned for our final instalment and to uncover more stories from Nikon’s history, click here.