Tuesday, November 9, 2010

And you thought you'd had a bad day... Astonishing image of moray eel in underwater photos taken at world's beauty spots

By DAILY MAIL REPORTER

Up close and personal with a moray eel in one of the top pictures in this year's underwater photography prize


His face says it all. Perhaps fed up with having a camera thrust in his face, a moray eel bares is wonky teeth as he confronts the photographer.

This image of a grumpy-looking creature was one of the top pictures in a competition which shows this years' best underwater photography taken at the planet's most beautiful nature spots around the world.


Big names working in underwater photography have just announced the winners of their two major world competitions aimed at showcasing the best images captured in the depths of our Oceans.


A diver swims along a continental trench in Silfra, Iceland in the picture that scooped the top prize


Whittling down thousands of entries, judges selected winners from several categories in their 'Our World Under Water' competition and sister event, the Fourth Annual Deep Indonesia International Underwater Photo Competition.

Prizes for the events make up the largest prize pool in the world for underwater photography.
A lonely diver traversing a cavernous underwater crack has scooped the 2010 Deep Indonesia photography competition.

The incredible picture was taken by 45-year-old professional photographer, Magnus Lundgren from Sweden as he was guided though the eerie fissure in Thingvellir Lake, Iceland.

Briton John Hill took the Silver award in the compact cameras category for his action packed image taken from the heart of a school of silver coated jackfish.


John Hill's photo of jack fish in Sipadan, Borneo, Malaysia took second proze


'Mystery Wreck' taken by a diver of his girlfriend in Gran Canaria scooped the best overall prize while this image of Lion fish in Red Sea, Egypt also featured


Amateur underwater photographer, Mr Hill was diving off Sipadan Island in East Borneo, Malaysia during September 2009 as part of a year he spent travelling south-east Asia with his girlfriend, Jenny.

'I was diving at the edge of the school simply observing them,' said the 30 year-old construction worker and ex-dive instructor from Portsmouth.

'Another diver from my group accidentally drove them towards me and before I knew it I was surrounded.

'Luckily I had the presence of mind to quickly reach for my camera and take my shot.
'I was amazed by the results and thrilled to have gained a silver award in such a prestigious competition.'

My advice to anyone who hasn't tried diving is to jump in and have a go.' The Deep Indonesia competition was launched alongside the Our World Under Water competition as a unique international mega-event which supports underwater photographic expos under the same names held in Jakarta, Indonesia and Chicago in the US in February next year.


Baltic herrings struggle for freedom inside a net in Baltic Sea


A multitude of Schooling Catfish fill the photographer's frame in Indonesia


The competitions are so big that a total of over $120,000 (£74,000) worth of prizes were up for grabs this year, The aim, according to organisers, is for Our World Under Water and Deep Indonesia to showcase the art of underwater photography and seeks to underline the mystery, beauty and delicacy of the underwater realm.

The categories for Our World Underwater included macro traditional, macro unrestricted, super-macro traditional, wide angle traditional, wide angle unrestricted, compact cameras and novice.

Deep Indonesia categories included compact cameras, divers, animal portrait, animal behaviour, reefscapes, environment and conservation, and Indonesia residents.
The two competitions attracted over 5000 entries and winners were picked from 20 countries across the world.

David Barrio, 37 from Spain took the overall prize 'Best in Show' for the Deep Indonesia award for a haunting image of his girlfriend, slowly rising through a cabin of a deep sea wreck off the coast of southern Gran Canaria.


Sailfish attacking schooling fish in Port St. Johns, South Africa


A Stargazer in Blue Heron Bridge, Florida


A Frogfish and Shrimpfish in Indonesia, A Mantis Shrimp with eggs in Anilao, Philippines


Other award winning pictures included a dramatic picture of a leopard seal snapping its' jaws directly at the lens of Bartosz Strozynski from Poland, landing him the gold award for animal behaviour.

'I was playing with the seal,' said 35 year-old Bartosz from Poznan in Poland.
'They are curious and they do try to test you in the water.

'This one saw his reflection in my lens and must have thought I was another leopard seal.

'So she displayed her teeth as a warning.

'I'm very happy with this photo. Braving the cold was worth it.' The competitions threw up other gems such as the poignant picture of a male sea horse moments after he gave birth to his first born, a photograph of hunted baltic herring battling vainly against fishermen's netting and an image of colourful sweetlip fish racing over the reef.

The two competitions are organised by Eric Cheng of Wetpixel Online and Jason Heller of Dive Photo Guide, who each run the two acclaimed websites for dive photographers.
They launched underwatercompetition.com which hosts Our World Underwater and Deep Indonesia after the overwhelming popularity of their first underwater photography competition in 2005.


A juvenile Flying fish in Raja Ampat, Indonesia


A hungry Leopard seal in Antarctica, A Leopard seal in the Antarctic perches on an iceberg


Harlequin shrimps in Tulamben, Bali, Indonesia


source: dailymail


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