Take the Leap 1052295HC

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Product Details
  • In Prints: Print
  • Subject Type: Signed

A young polar bear jumps between ice floes in Svalbard, Norway.

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National Geographic | Fine Art Galleries presents fine art photography through exclusive limited editions embodying the rich heritage of the National Geographic Society and National Geographic magazine since 1888.

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Take the Leap: Hors d' commerce

Ralph Lee Hopkins

Viewing this image still sends chills up my spine. The expedition ship Endeavour sat motionless along the ice edge. This young bear continued to come closer, jumping between ice floes until she was in range right below the bow of the ship.

And then she tested the ice. A polar bear will test the ice before jumping, doing a couple of pushups along the edge to see if it the ice edge will hold its weight. This tips you off to be ready.

As I focused on the bear I whispered to myself, “take the leap!” The young bear launched itself like an Olympic diver. I held my breath, squeezed the trigger, and captured a sequence of frames with motor drive. Perfect form, toes pointed. 

A still photograph freezes a moment in time. This image begs the question, “did she make it?”



LOCATION: Svalbard, Norway


MEDIUM: Chromogenic Print


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