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UPY 2016 Up & Coming - Highly Commended
'The Great Sea Eagle' - Pier Mane
Living for a while in my youth in southeast Alaska, I came to appreciate the Golden Eagle, a majestic creature oft-admired for her dazzling aeronautics and airborne confidence. Alas, I was then ill equipped to portray such splendour and supremacy of the skies. In previous underwater forays, I had depicted turtles as peaceful, graceful “cuties,” while they are actually among the sea’s most resilient creatures. Hatched into a world in which one in one thousand reach maturity, sea turtles face increasing human demand for their meat, eggs and shells, rendering most species at risk of extinction. Inspired in this very moment by the Alaskan Golden Eagle, I seize upon this shot of the critically endangered hawksbill sea turtle. In Sodwana Bay, South Africa, under a moderate current and scarce light, the creature reveals a nature transcending mere gracefulness: confidence, born of longevity against all odds, and a seeming sense of itself as among the most magnificent denizens of the sea.
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