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UPY 2017 British Waters Wide Angle - Winner
'Eye to eye' - Melvin Redeker
In 2011 I saw my first orcas in the North Sea. It was the inspiration for our Dutch photo project 'In the North Sea'. We needed the iconic killer whales to raise attention that the North Sea has many fantastic ecosystems and habitats. But first I needed to learn diving and handle an underwater camera. We had studied the behavior of the Mousa pod over a few weeks and decided the best opportunity would come if I hid on the seabed just below the coastal rocks while the orcas are hunting seals. So I was dropped by Fiona (my wife) from our RIB in an area where we anticipated them to come for seal hunting. Staring in a wall of water, suddenly the pod appeared. Totally silent. Eye to eye with these mighty apex predators, my heart skipped a few beats.
Judge's comment: Peter Rowlands: My heart skips a beat just looking at this image! The eye contact and the close proximity together with the silence. This is a groundbreaking shot for British waters.
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