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UPY 2017 Behaviour - Commended
'Planktonado' - Warren Baverstock
On my last visit to Djibouti I suspended a large LED light from the rear of the boat to attract plankton so I could photograph night time feeding whale sharks. After three nights, a whale shark finally showed up and started to feed on the plankton. Making every attempt to enter the water quietly, the shark still became spooked and disappeared without a single photograph being taken. Moving out into the darkness away from the boat, I hung on to the anchor line and kept perfectly still in the hope that the shark would return. After an hour the shark returned and my first glimpse of it was an outline of a large mouth which appeared from depth as it fed on the tornado of plankton that swirled and constantly morphed into different shapes. I spent a further hour with this feeding shark and gained an incredible experience and some remarkable photographs including this one.
Judge's comment: Alex Mustard: An original image of a plankton feeder at work. The dark frame really highlights the action and the attractive coil of plankton seems to be being sucked down into that cavernous mouth.
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