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UPY British Waters Macro - Runner Up
'Peekaboo puffin' - Matt Doggett
In 2013 I was lucky to be invited on an exciting trip aboard the MV Halton to head offshore and dive the outlying islands of North Rona and Sula Sgeir, some 40-50 miles offshore in the north Atlantic Ocean. The diving did not disappoint with crystal clear waters, huge gullies, caves and archways to explore and a profusion of marine life. But one afternoon, myself and good friend Richard Shucksmith spent 2-3 hours snorkelling in a shallow bay frequented by rafting puffins. Using Richard’s beautifully-fashioned, homemade puffins to disguise ourselves we could approach close enough to photograph the birds from an underwater perspective. Although guillemots buzzed right up to us almost immediately, the puffins remained shy taking a long time before swimming close to us underwater. This one looked particularly cheeky as it checked me out for what I really was!
Judge's comment: Alex Mustard: Photographing puffins underwater is very challenging and doing so in British conditions is even tougher, yet this is a powerful portrait that tells us about the conflicting emotions of curiosity and nervousness in this engaging subject.
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