UPY 2017 British Waters Macro - Winner

Kirsty Andrews

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UPY 2017 British Waters Macro - Winner
'Dragon display' - Kirsty Andrews

This cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis) noticed me before I noticed it. As I passed, it was skulking behind a rock and wafting its tentacles in what was either a kelpy camouflage tactic or an attempt to warn me away. Cuttlefish will often make this type of threat display and only retreat once it's clear that the diving photographer or other recipient has not been appropriately cowed. Although I was not too intimidated, I do love the pose and to me, the outstretched strobe-lit tentacles against a dark background bring to mind a fearsome Chinese dragon. Cuttlefish are fascinating, beautiful creatures and I have had some wonderful experiences in British waters watching them breed, fight, feed, or just interact with divers. I find it terribly sad that in some former hotspots, increased use of cuttlefish pots, especially during the mating season, has had a devastating impact on cuttlefish numbers.

Judge's comment: Alex Mustard: A quirky pose with perfect symmetry, reveals the character of one of the UK’s most charismatic macro creatures.

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