UPY 2017 British Waters Compact - Highly Commended

Mark Launchbury

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UPY 2017 British Waters Compact - Highly Commended
'Cruising Predator' - Mark Launchbury

This image of a freshwater pike was taken at Dosthill Quarry a small flooded quarry in the West Midlands where the water is cold and visibility often very limited. I spotted this fish upon ascent after a deeper dive from the darker depths, I observed this fish as it effortlessly glided towards me, I positioned the camera for a head on shot but unfortunately it didn't oblige and it immediately turned around. I descended and finned beneath the fish to get ahead and approach from the opposite direction. Pausing briefly to take in my surroundings, I moved forwards very slowly to avoid disturbing both the fish and the silt below me to take this shot. I'm pleased my patience paid off to capture an image of this top predator.

Judge's comment: Peter Rowlands: This is an excellent fish portrait and also shows its habitat very well. The slight upward angle and fill in strobe lighting help isolate the pike from an otherwise cluttered background and the surface reflections create a nice sense of space.

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