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German wildlife photographer Ingo Arndt is not one to shirk the challenges of a tricky assignment … even if that means lying underneath the foot of a six-ton adult African elephant. "It was one of my most difficult shoots," Ingo admits. "When the elephant got the command he lifted his foot up about one and a half metres. I slid underneath and managed to shoot for a couple of minutes." The images formed part of a unique picture story on animal feet for Germany's GEO magazine.

The story, which included the soles of lizards, monkeys and a wild leopard, won Ingo third place in the World Press Photo awards 2004. Shooting geckos and chameleons for the piece was simply a matter of putting some glass under their feet and shooting from below. Getting the larger animals to comply, however, demanded some creative thinking. "It's very hard to get a chimpanzee to lie on its back with its feet up, even a trained one." explains Ingo.

Having no formal photography training, Ingo mastered his craft through trial and error and by examining photos in nature publications. After a couple of years 'photographing everything' he realised his interest lay in wildlife.

Ingo moved from photographing the world's largest creatures to some of its smallest for Antarctic Critters – a collection of unique images recording the other-worldly forms of miniscule zooplankton living deep in the seas around the South Pole. The project was part of a gruelling expedition to the Antarctic on the German research ship Polarstern, the images from which have recently been published in a new book by Ingo.