Amateur photographer Espen Bergersen's career took a serendipitous turn when he spotted an unusual winter appearance of whales near his hometown in northern Norway. His spectacular images, marked by eerie polar light, were made possible by the changing migratory patterns of fish.
Two years ago, Espen Bergersen was visiting his parents in the northern Norwegian island of And°ya, where he grew up, for the holidays. About a week before Christmas he was walking along the shore, taking photos of the landscape. When the hobby nature photographer saw something splashing in the water, he thought perhaps there were waves crashing on the cliffs. But then he remembered there were no cliffs in the area, and realized that the splashing was coming from whales.
The sight caught Bergersen completely by surprise. While sperm whale watching has long been a summer activity in the deep waters far off the Norwegian coast, they aren't usually seen in the winter. Bergersen says that humpbacks and killer whales like the ones he saw had never been spotted near his hometown before -- and certainly not so close to land that residents could catch a glimpse without even getting on a boat.
Bergersen spent the rest of his holiday taking pictures of the whales every day, spreading news of the whale sightings and even landing an article in the local paper. By Christmas the word was out. .................(more)