Obviously, it’s not one of mine. First off, that would surely be the best photograph I’ve ever taken (although I suppose that technically it could fall into both categories if I was feeling particularly boastful) and secondly, it’s laughable anyway because mine aren’t anywhere near this standard. I am merely a microbiologist with a camera.
And I didn’t come up with this title on a whim, either. Sure, I was wowed when I first saw the photo, but it’s taken me a while to realise that I don’t think I’ve actually ever seen anything better.
So, step forward Steve Ward, nature photographer, and his mind-blowing photo of a diving gannet (Morus bassanus) just microseconds before it hits the water:
What you might not realise is that this guy (the gannet, not Steve) is moving at anywhere up to 100kph. That’s 27.78 metres per second. And so I really wasn’t joking when I said that it was literally microseconds away from entering that glassy ocean. That’s what makes the photo all the more incredible for me: it’s not like the bird saw the camera and was like:
A photo? No, sure, that’s fine. Happy to help. I’ll just defy the forces of gravity for a while until you get your setup absolutely right. Must I smile? No? OK. Any time you’re ready then.
Because gannets are known to be particularly uncooperative in that regard.
That link above will take you to much more of Steve’s amazing work, lots of birds (some amazing owl pics) hares, voles and some lovely landscapes too. But this gannet still stands out as something rather special.
Many thanks to Steve for his permission to share this photo.