"Animals in Their Environment" Winner: "Whooper Swans at Dawn"
Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition, 2005
Natural History Museum, London, and BBC Wildlife Magazine
Capturing this classic Japanese winterscape on film wasn't a comfortable experience for German photographer Martin Eisenhawer.
Bent over a lake on Japan's northern island of Hokkaido in subfreezing temperatures, Eisenhawer waited for two hours for the swans and biting winds to settle, creating the mirror-smooth surface and composition he wanted.
I don't like taking pictures while wearing gloves, but if I hadn't, my fingers would have frozen to the camera, he said.
Eisenhawer says whooping swans are attracted to the ice-patched lake's warm thermal waters. The swans don't like to stay on the ice too long, otherwise they get cold feet, he added.