Item Number: 6029LR
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ABOUT THE IMAGE:
Born of the North Wind
is considered a tour de force in wildlife photography. Thomas D. Mangelsen’s dramatic panoramic transports us literally onto the mantle of windswept sea ice. It is an awe-inspiring image that catapulted Mangelsen to winning BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year honors in 1994—one of the highest achievements in nature photography.
Taken along the western coast of Hudson Bay as early winter ice was just starting to harden, enabling iconic polar bears to strike out on their perilous annual migration in search of seals, the photograph has also been hailed as one of the best narrative nature images of all time. In the Far North, arctic foxes routinely accompany the kings of the ice to scavenge kills they make and indeed their own survival depends on the competency of the ursid they choose as their companion through the long season of darkness.
As poignant now as when Mangelsen captured it, the photograph with big aesthetic impact remains a timely clarion call about the onset of climate change.
“Polar bears are my favorite of all animals to photograph, even more, perhaps surprising to some, than brown bears,” Mangelsen says. “Beginning with the color of their coats and their hardy ability to endure the cold, they are pure extensions of their environment. The paradox is that as durable as they seem, it is the transformation of their world, wrought by climate change, that actually leaves them fragile. So much of what makes wildlife photography compelling for me, so deeply personal, is that I hope my images convey that duality of almost indescribable magnificence and profound vulnerability. What a terrible thing it would be if we squander their future on the planet.”