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Viral Picture Of Widowed Penguins Wins Photography Prize

Simon Fearn

| Last updated 

Viral Picture Of Widowed Penguins Wins Photography Prize

Featured Image Credit: Tobias Baumgaertner/Instagram - @tobiasvisual/Ocean Photography Awards

A viral picture of two widowed penguins staring into the distance together at St Kilda Pier, Melbourne, has won a prize at Oceanographic magazine's Ocean Photograph Awards 2020.


Photographer Tobias Baumgaertner bagged the Community Choice Award for his moving photograph, which quickly went viral earlier this year when he shared it to Instagram.

Writing last month after making into the shortlist of five photographs up for the Community Choice Award, with the winner decided by popular vote, Baumgaertner wrote: "It has been an honour to be selected as one of the 5 Images and I cannot express my gratitude towards everyone who has supported me and my penguin image up to this point!

"THANKS A MILLION, you guys are the best!"

Baumgaertner originally took the snap in 2019, explaining in the caption to the photograph that the two penguins appeared to have lost their respective partners.

He wrote: "During times like this the truly lucky ones are those that can be with the person/people they love most. I captured this moment about a year ago.

"These two Fairy penguins poised upon a rock overlooking the Melbourne skyline were standing there for hours, flipper in flipper, watching the sparkling lights of the skyline and ocean.

Credit: Tobias Baumgaertner/Instagram - @tobiasvisuals
Credit: Tobias Baumgaertner/Instagram - @tobiasvisuals

"A volunteer approached me and told me that the white one was an elderly lady who had lost her partner and apparently so did the younger male to the left. Since then they meet regularly comforting each other and standing together for hours watching the dancing lights of the nearby city."

He continued: "I spent three full nights with this penguin colony until I was able to get this picture. Between not being able or allowed to use any lights and the tiny penguins continuously moving, rubbing their flippers on each other's backs and cleaning one another, it was really hard to get a shot but I got lucky during one beautiful moment.

"I hope you enjoy this moment as much as I did."

The touching image caught the imaginations of Twitter users, with one tweet which shared the image garnering 160,000 likes and 51,000 comments.

The original poster wrote: "Couldn't stop thinking about these penguins enjoying the Melbourne skyline together so I found the original photographer and apparently they're BOTH WIDOWED I can't handle it."

Credit: Tobias Baumgaertner/Instagram - @tobiasvisuals/Ocean Photography Awards
Credit: Tobias Baumgaertner/Instagram - @tobiasvisuals/Ocean Photography Awards

Another person commented: "Wasn't planning on crying tonight, but thanks."

You can head over to Tobias' Instagram page to not only see the amazing photo of the two penguins, but also many other stunning wildlife and nature snaps - which are available as prints if you contact him via his website: tobiasvisuals.com.

Topics: Animals, Australia

Simon Fearn
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