Love gazing at phenomenal underwater photos of marine life? Or are you a keen underwater photographer when you dive? Your vote is needed…

Nature fans are being invited to have their say in the Natural History Museum’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition by voting for the winner of the People’s Choice Award here: http://bit.ly/WPY53PeoplesChoice

The annual award recognises exceptional competition entries as chosen by the public. Admirers of wildlife photography around the world can choose their favourite from 24 images, pre-selected by the Natural History Museum from almost 50,000 submissions from 92 countries.

Among the shortlisted photos are some outstanding underwater wildlife images as shown below. The above image of humpback whales was taken by Ray Chin from Taiwan.

The caption for the photo entitled ‘Elegant mother and calf’ sets the scene for Chin’s shot:

“Every year from July to late October southern humpback whales migrate north from their Antarctic feeding grounds to give birth in the warm sheltered waters off Tonga. Ray encountered this humpback mother and calf peacefully floating in the plankton-filled water around the island group of Vava‘u, Tonga. After Ray gently approached them, the giants swam a bit closer to have a look at him. While they made this elegant turn, Ray took the shot. He later converted the image into black and white which he felt represented the simplicity of the scene.

The below image, ‘Hammerhead’ is by Adriana Basques from Brazil/USA, and was taken off Cocos Island:

Canon EOS 5D Mark III + 16–35mm f2.8 lens; 1/160 sec at f5; ISO 640; Aquatica housing; Aquatica glass megadome.

“Scalloped hammerhead sharks are generally found in the deep waters off Cocos Island, Costa Rica, where the currents are often fierce and the visibility unpredictable. It can be a tough dive with a big camera. Adriana had the advantage of a sunny day and good visibility with ample natural lighting. When a school of cottonmouth jacks came into view she waited to see if a hammerhead might appear. It didn’t take long. This particular shark stayed just long enough for her to capture a full frame with the school of cottonmouths in the background, giving her the unique composition she had been searching for.”

Mike Harterink from The Netherlands was diving off Blue Bead Hole, St Eustatius in the  Caribbean when he captured his shot ‘Warning wings’:

Nikon D200 + 12–24mm f1.4 lens at 12mm; 1/8 sec at f22; ISO 100; Seacam housing; two Seacam flashes.

Diving off Blue Bead Hole, St Eustatius, Caribbean, Mike used a slow shutter speed to capture the motion of this ‘flying’ gurnard. The fish’s large pectoral fins are divided into a shorter forward fin with spines, which it uses to ‘walk’ around and to poke the ocean floor for food, and a larger wing-like part. The fins are usually held against its body but, when threatened, the fish expands them to scare away predators.”

This image namedCleaning session’ was taken by Jordi Chias Pujol from Spain:

Panasonic Lumix GF1+ Panasonic Lumix 8mm lens; 1/40 sec at f8; ISO 100; two Inon strobes.

The protected waters around Carall Bernat, Medes Islands, Spain, are admired for their marine diversity and are popular with divers. Jordi knows of an area where sunfish visit in the spring to be cleaned by Mediterranean rainbow wrasses and other small wrasses. The sunfish adopt an upright position, signalling to the wrasses that they are ready. Jordi was able to approach and take a shot while the wrasses went to work picking off the skin parasites, which the sunfish are commonly afflicted with.”

Shortlisted images are currently on display at the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition at the Natural History Museum in London, until the vote closes on 5 February, 2018. The winner of the vote will then be showcased until the exhibition closes on 28 May, 2018.

The top five People’s Choice Award images will also be displayed online at www.wildlifephotographeroftheyear.com joining the 100-strong winning portfolio chosen by the panel of judges.

Online voting is open now, until 12.00pm (GMT) on Monday 5 February 2018: http://bit.ly/WPY53PeoplesChoice

 

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