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Santa Cruz Woman Wins BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year Award

Jeanine Lovett's photograph of a 14-story-high iceberg in Antarctica was chosen from more than 48,000 entries.

Photographers Jeanine Lovett and Dave Hartley got married on a ship in Paradise Bay, Antarctica in 2006. It was from this ship, a Russian spy ship during the Cold War, that Lovett snapped a photograph of international intrigue. 

On Monday, Lovett and her husband will fly to London, where she'll recieve her award for BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year Award 2012—a distinction handpicked by a panel of industry recognized professionals from more than 48,000 entries and 98 countries.

The photograph was shot around the shallow waters of the iceberg-rich South Orkney Islands.

"It's sort of where icebergs go to die," said Lovett of the phenomenon of massive icebergs getting grounded in the shallower water. The massive iceberg appearing in the photograph had flipped over in it's long, slow death.

"The texture in the ice cave was created by the ocean," said Lovett, who spent six hours that day shooting icebergs and wildlife with Hartley.

While the photograph gives the impression that the iceberg was right beside the ship, the 60-centimeter wingspan of the petrels shows it's true scale: that of a 14-storey building. 

"I saw a group of cape petrels flying nearby and pre-visualised them making a pattern over the abstract and sculptured ice," said Lovett. "I ran across the ship to get closer, zooming with my lens and feet to get the picture. The beauty of the scene took my breath away." 

Lovett's goal as a wildlife photographer, she says, is to create photography that inspires a love of nature, landscapes, and wildlife, and promotes a sense of adventure in the outdoors.

The BBC Wildlife Photography competition is co-owned by BBC Worldwide and the London Natural History Museum, where her iceberg print will be exhibitted from Oct. 19 through March 3, 2013. 

Lovett began taking photographs at the age of 15 years, starting with black and white film and developing her prints in the darkroom. She first used a digital camera in 1999.

Lovett and Hartley have travelled and photographed in Kenya, Beliz, the midway islands in the Hawaiin chain, Australia, Patagonia, Argentina, Chile, Baja Mexico to photograph whales, The Falkland Islands, the South Georgia Islands and various road trips across the country. 

"We like to photograph the ocean and desserts and trees..." said Lovett. 

The nature-loving couple moved to Santa Cruz from San Francisco last year.

See more of their work at Jeanine Loveet & Dave Hartley Photography, Jeanine Lovett Photography

They can also be found on Facebook.

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