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Photographer Captures Lovely Pictures of Seal Pups in Lake Baikal

Photographer Dmitry Kokh traveled to Lake Baikal and photographed younger, pleasant Baikal seals of their pure setting — beneath the icy water.

Exploring Lake Baikal, the Wildlife Treasure Trove

Russia’s Lake Baikal is taken into account to be the deepest and oldest lake on this planet and will be discovered simply north of the Mongolian border. Along with additionally being the world’s largest freshwater lake by quantity, it is also residence to round 1,800 endemic plant and animal species.

Baikal Lake

This consists of Baikal seals, regionally often called nerpas, that are one of many smallest pinnipeds — marine mammals with entrance and rear flippers — on this planet.

Baikal seal pups

For Moscow-based Kokh, who focuses on wildlife and underwater pictures, Baikal seals have lengthy been on his bucket listing to doc. No stranger to chilly, excessive environments, Kokh has photographed polar bears and different wildlife species. Two years in the past, he made his first try at capturing Baikal seals however didn’t succeed — the lake freezes round mid-January and it was tough to seek out nerpas in open water.

Dmitry Kokh Dmitry Kokh

Kokh didn’t quit and returned to Lake Baikal in April when Siberian spring makes its look and when feminine nerpas have simply given beginning to Baikal seal pups. In distinction to adults, newborns usually are not shy and are straightforward to acknowledge by their snow-white fur. Quickly their fur turns grey, and they’re desperate to discover the unknown beneath the ice of the lake.

“Seals are usually a pleasure to shoot — they’re enjoyable, pleasant, curious, and really photogenic,” Kokh tells PetaPixel. “So the expertise is nearly all the time rewarding.”

The right way to Get the Good Shot

For a profitable shoot like this, Kokh factors out three key elements — time, gear, and the aim of the shoot.

To get the timing proper, it’s important to journey when seal pups usually are not too younger as a result of they are going to be too dependent and keep near their mom. On the identical time, they will’t be too mature both as a result of they may have grown to turn out to be shy and scared.

Baikal seal pups

“That excellent in-between teen age is perfect for pictures as they’re extra curious and ,” Kokh explains.

In the case of gear, photographers have to arrange for capturing in ice water. An setting like this comes with its set of challenges as a result of the acute temperatures are usually harsh on the pictures gear and might trigger it to interrupt down shortly.

Dmitry Kokh

With that in thoughts, Kokh factors out all scuba gear must be temperature acceptable and re-checked for well being and security.

Dmitry Kokh Dmitry Kokh

As soon as the gear is prepared, he tries to mentally put together and visualize every shot he desires to attain earlier than going straight into capturing. Doing so helps information the method.

Having the chance to {photograph} Baikal seals up shut has been an unforgettable expertise. Kokh felt “pleasure and pure pleasure.”

Baikal seal pups Baikal seal pups Baikal seal pups Baikal seal pups

Subsequent, grown and mature nerpas are on Kokh’s pictures listing this 12 months. He hopes to return throughout the summer time and provides himself the subsequent problem of capturing the older however shy and apprehensive Baikal seals, which he says will probably be an amazing achievement if he’s profitable.

Extra of Kokh’s work will be discovered on his web site and Instagram.

Picture credit: Images by Dmitry Kokh.

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