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UPY Wide Angle - Winner
'From the Below' - Raffaele Livornese
I took this photo beneath the dive boat during a safari in the Maldives, last October. The only light source was from a spotlight on the liveaboard. Once in the water, I waited for about 40 minutes to get this shot. The manta made many pirouettes as it fed on the plankton attracted to the light. But it was always too far from the surface and I was only using a snorkel. But once I saw the photo on my camera I was very happy.
Judge's comment: Alex Mustard: Manta rays are one of the most beautiful creatures in the ocean, and this is a particularly stunning picture. Such graphically powerful images are a rare treat in wide angle photography. The single light source from above the surface has revealed the three dimensional form of the ray, I especially like how the light and dark define the gill slits. The shot is also precisely timed capturing perfect symmetry in the subject. It works so well in black and white.
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