Ole Jørgen Liodden* is one of Norway’s most renowned wildlife photographers. His work is recognized internationally, and he has written several books about wildlife and nature photography. It was during a photo expedition to the Antarctic in 2017 that he captured some stunning images of cormorants.
Before the trip, Ole Jørgen had developed a pole cam system to photograph underwater and water-splits (over/under water) from a zodiac boat. He constructed the system in such a fashion that he could use live-view to compose the shots. All images are shot with the Nikon D5, and for the majority of the split photos, he used the Nikkor 85mm f/1.4. When Ole Jørgen needed a wider perspective he used the Nikkor 20mm f/1.8.
Ole Jørgen tells DIYP: “Most often underwater photographers will use a narrowest possible aperture for depth of field, but I like to go to the other extreme and use a wide open aperture like f/1.4”
The majority of the images he has shared with us depict cormorants sitting on small icebergs. Ole Jørgen explains: “The cormorants were very tolerant to our presence as long as we kept a certain distance.”
When photographing splits it is an advantage to photograph animals and birds which are not too shy, he continues. It is also an advantage to have little wind and waves. However, in the Antarctic, there is often waves something which makes this kind of photography difficult.
The cormorants are expert divers and love being in the water. Their webbed feet and sleek bodies make them great and natural swimmers. Under water, they search for and pursue fish.
*(‘ø’ is the same vowel as in girl = gørl)