Eastern Siberia may be a lonely, freezing region, especially in the winter, when a fortuitous contact with any form of life might be reason for joy.
Which may explain Alexy Trofimov’s unexpectedly warm reception when he met a local family during a winter excursion to Russia’s isolated Lake Baikal.
Trofimov, a professional photographer, had traveled to eastern Siberia in search of candid photographs of the region’s timid seal population.
“Shooting a Baikal seal pup on the ice was extremely tough,” he told Caters News Agency. “It took three years for me to obtain my first photograph.”
The picture, on the other hand, was worth a thousand miles. Then there’s more.
Trofimov had not only gotten quite near to a newborn seal, but the pup had also lifted a flipper as if to wave.
“I was delighted to be able to get such a rare shot; seals are very cautious and quickly scared, so photographing them is tough,” Trofimov told the news agency. “It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
The glassy-eyed infant was part of a seal family Trofimov visited on his trip, a family that looked just as happy for the visit as he did.
“If a seal pup isn’t too afraid, they’ll start to be interested about you, which is exactly what this seal was doing,” Trofimov explained.
With its vast icy expanses, certain regions of Siberia can play mental games. It’s easy to envision things that aren’t there in this desolate winter desert.
Trofimov, on the other hand, captured photographs, demonstrating that somewhere in Russia’s far north, a family of seals – and one infant in particular – are content to have some company.