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Wildlife photographer and Olympus Ambassador Tesni Ward captured the journey of Little White and Little Grey…

One thing that struck me immediately was just how well the images came out from such a small camera. I had been disappointed by my inability to get underwater housing in time, but the TG-5 was proving to be an absolute powerhouse, capable of everything I needed from it.

One of the other challenges I faced was the extremely difficult lighting conditions I was working in. As the public shows had long since finished and natural light sources were extremely limited, numerous artificial light sources really pushed the anti-flicker features to the absolute limit. I would rarely shoot with an ISO lower than 3200 and I was certainly impressed with the camera’s ability to tolerate this. When presented with a choice of a grainy image or no image, it’s a no-brainer, but I’ve found that the image quality does not deteriorate anywhere near as much as I anticipated.

After a week of documenting the preparations to fly Little Grey and Little White 6000 miles to Iceland, as their 30-hour journey approached the project was unexpectedly delayed due to adverse conditions in Iceland. All that held us back was a 30-minute ferry ride, but it forced me to fly home unexpectedly after receiving the news at 1.30am. This delayed things by two months as the sheer logistics of the move were beyond comprehension. Once June finally arrived I flew out to continue the project, this time to Iceland. The work day spanned nearly 19 hours during the move, and I depended heavily on powering and charging my batteries for the E-M1X through a power bank, due to the significant workload and shooting requirements. There would be no second chances if any important moments were missed. The whales were moved into their quarantine and care pool to acclimate to their new temporary home, and to continue their training in preparation for the final move. With a new visitor centre on the island of Heimaey to help support the whales, Sea Life have also developed a puffin hospital and rehabilitation centre, which extends its support to all birds in need on the island. It was rewarding to be able to go behind the scenes and watch the incredible commitment and enthusiasm of the staff as they helped to support the animals, and I became very attached to a couple of the birds in their care.

The final stage of the move is nearly upon us and I couldn’t be more excited to see the progress Little Grey and Little White have made, along with seeing them when they’re released into their final home.

You can see more from Tesni on InstagramFacebookTwitter or by visiting tesniward.co.uk.

Article featured in Olympus Magazine Issue 65 – to see the latest copy of this free digital magazine click here.