Feature Photography Award 2013

Marcus Bleasdale

Marcus Bleasdale


AWARD NAME: Feature Photography Award 2013

AWARD RECIPIENT: Marcus Bleasdale


AWARD HONORED WORK: The Last of the Viking Whalers

Completely original photographic storytelling executed perfectly. The work is technically superior and each frame is a unique version of the overall story. The flawless edit gave insight into a rarely reported subject.


Marcus Bleasdale has captured a dying way of life in Norway as the whaling profession shrinks under an international quota of 1,286 whales per year. Photo: Marcus Bleasdale

The communities in Norway that rely on whaling rarely capture more than 500 whales because the demand for whale meat has diminished as well. Photo: Marcus Bleasdale

Over thousands of years, Norwegians have hunted whales to eat. Photo: Marcus Bleasdale

As cultural and environmental challenges weigh upon the industry, fewer people take up this profession. Photo: Marcus Bleasdale

With more opportunities to study and travel, young people in the whaling communities have chosen increasingly to leave and the communities are dying. Photo: Marcus Bleasdale

The whalers, who once numbered in the thousands, now man just 17 boats. Photo: Marcus Bleasdale

Faced with international opposition to whaling, there has been a reluctance to allow photographers into their community to document their lifestyle. Photo: Marcus Bleasdale

But for over two years, Bleasdale lived in these villages and convinced them to let him be the first photographer in 30 years to document their world. Photo: Marcus Bleasdale

With this way of life fast disappearing, this was one of the last opportunities to see how whalers must overcome the elements to provide for their communities. Photo: Marcus Bleasdale

Photo: Marcus Bleasdale

Photo: Marcus Bleasdale

Photo: Marcus Bleasdale