Art photography

Dramatic Warrior Wins Top Prize for Ocean Art Photography

A dramatic Pacific warship framed against a deep black sea is the subject of one of the winning photos in this year’s Ocean Art Underwater Photo Contest.

Organized by the Underwater Photography Guide, the competition names 95 winners per year in a variety of categories, from reef landscapes and chilly waters to nudibranchs, marine mollusks known for their flashy colors and eerie body structures.

This year is the sixth in the contest, and the top “Best in Show” prize went to a photo titled “Blue Lasso” by Matty Smith. The photo, which also won first prize in the wide angle category, was taken at Bushrangers Bay in New South Wales, Australia. It shows a Pacific warship (Physalia utriciulus) with its single lethal tentacle coiled into a lasso-shaped “O” underwater. Men of war are siphonophores, which means that although they look like a single animal, they are in fact several polyps working together as one organism. [See the Winning Underwater Photography Photos]

“It was one of those rare times when it all came together for me, the lucky photographer, I knew I had just witnessed something very special,” Smith wrote of the winning entry. .

Dangerous subjects

Pacific warships are slightly smaller than their more famous Portuguese cousins. Their bites are also gentler, according to the Western Australian Museum, and their venom is less likely to be fatal to humans.

Other winners show the interaction between humans and less dangerous marine life. In the Compact Behavior category (using a compact camera to capture animal behavior), photographer Lawrence Alex Wu revealed a swarm of baitfish swirling around his body in Hin Daeng, Thailand. Small fish were fleeing from a school of larger fish, Wu wrote.

The first prize in the Pool / Conceptual Art category was awarded to a stunning photo of a turtle rescued from a rehabilitation center in Far North Queensland, Australia. The turtle, nicknamed Eva, catches a delicious squid; the blurry background and color contrast were added in post-production, according to photographer Christian Miller.

Underwater worlds

The winning nudibranch photo shows two mollusks mating in a soft embrace near Tulamben, Indonesia. Photographer Rafael Cosme had his wife pose in the background, shining a plunging light on the beige and purple couple.

The Cold Water winner appears to look defiantly out of the photo. The subject is a pike in Skällinge, a lake in southwestern Sweden. Another World, the Reefscapes category winner features a huge blue starfish captured on film in Lembeh, Indonesia.

Photographer Scipione Mannacio Soderini won the Mirrorless Macro Award for a photograph of a blue-ringed octopus (Hapalochlaena) – the first he has ever seen in nature. These octopuses have a bite filled with venom capable of killing a human.

Thousands of photographs from over 60 countries were entered into the competition. Prizes included free sea cruises, dive packages to tropical resorts, and gift certificates to the Bluewater Photo underwater camera store.

Original article on Live Science.

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