NGTI Raw File: Fish-Eye Lens on Lake Baikal

Italian photographer Andrea Pozzi’s gossamer snapshot from Lake Baikal, of a fish trapped in the blue-and-white cracks of the frozen ice floor, reaches for high metaphor.

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Andrea Pozzi’s photograph titled “Trapped” captures a fish, moments before it turns into a frozen statue in deep ice. Photo By: Andrea Pozzi

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NGTI Raw File, National Geographic Traveller India’s monthly series, is a celebration of travel photography in all its glory. We spotlight the craft of photographers, who bring us all those wallpaper-worthy shots. Every month, an accomplished photographer will share a signature photo with us, and give us a rare peek into a special story behind that picture.

Our sixth feature in the series spotlights Italian photographer and adventurer Andrea Pozzi. His body of work comprises a series of striking wildlife shots and mystical landscapes, that have bagged him much international acclamation, including BBC’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year in 2020 (Category: Plants and Fungi). Having trained his lens through his travels to several unspoilt landscapes in 59 countries, he is now preoccupied with resuming his anthology titled “Forgotten Lands,” which uses photographs to chronicle enchanting tales of visually striking characters spotted on his adventures.

IN FOCUS:  On cold winter mornings when the temperature drops to -40℃, the Siberian Lake Baikal—the world’s oldest, deepest and largest freshwater lake, containing almost a quarter of the world’s fresh surface water—turns under an endless frozen floor. Glistening prisms of blue and white are as intriguing as terrifying. The shot featured in this piece, “Trapped”, from Pozzi’s Frozen Enigma series, takes a look at life under and over that winter sleet.

 

Ngti Raw File: Fish Eye Lens On Lake Baikal

IN SHOT: Pozzi’s frame from 2019 of the death of a small fish trapped in ice was captured with a mix of observation, patience and luck to highlight a surreal story. “This image was taken during a cold winter morning spent on the incredible surface of the frozen lake. A small fish trapped in the ice turns into a work of art, as an insect trapped in the amber. It’s almost surreal to think of the dynamics that led this small animal to an absurd destiny…” he writes in an email.

“The fish was precisely placed in the convergence of two three-dimensional ice cracks with singular whitish structures around it, as if the last breaths of the creature were still visible,” he recaps the moment before he pressed the shutter for the photograph that bagged him GDT European Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2021. “This picture represents for me an incredible metaphor of the historical period we are all living in: sometimes we find ourselves alone, helpless, trapped in something large and apparently implacable.”

Pozzi’s style is not overly concerned with realism or literal recreations of nature. Instead with his pictures, he tries to “emphasize the most primordial aspect of nature, which evokes an untouched charm”. This vision, he attributes to being a dreamer at heart. “I think that, despite our sins as human beings, the planet still holds scenarios that could have been found at the dawn of time. Often what I express with my photographs is not linked to a precise geographical reality, but rather aims to evoke a specific emotion: I believe that my images speak of dreamy and wistful landscapes suspended in time, that before describing a place tells a story about myself as a person.”

 

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  • Muskaan Gupta travels with a camera that doesn't fret to capture touristy pictures and believes visiting local markets is the best way to unearth a city's gems and jewels. She is Junior Writer (Native Content) at National Geographic Traveller India.

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