The third time was a charm for Robert Lewis. He, along with another Top 100 photographer, Eleanor Briccetti, chartered a boat on Clear Lake in California observe Clark’s grebe courtship, nest building, and parenting. On each trip, they’d set out at 6:30 in the morning, and take pictures for about three hours working to get the best combination of light and behavior.
This particular photo came on the third chartered trip, when Lewis set sail to take a specific family portrait: He knew that young Clark’s grebes often ride on their parents’ backs. The picture he ended up with has a “pleasing composition,” Lewis says, with the adult bills framing the kids. Also, look closely and you’ll spot a touch of red on the top of the young grebe’s heads, matching the eyes of their parents.
This image was a Top 100 photo from the 2013 Audubon Magazine Photography Awards. To see all of the photos, click here.