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UPY 2017 Portrait - Highly Commended
'Kiss me!' - David Barrio
El Bajón is an impressive dive located at El Hierro Island marine reserve and, due to its non fishing status in the area, some dusky groupers (Epinephelus marginatus) have been able to grow and reach large sizes (the species is classified as endangered in the IUCN Red List). It is interesting that these large specimens have grown accustomed to divers and, sometimes, they let photographers get close, or very close, like in this picture (other times they just ignore all divers). It is a pleasure just being able to dive with these giants and it is even better when they collaborate and stand looking at their reflection on the dome port for some minutes, letting the photographer experiment with light and composition.
Judge's comment: Martin Edge: It's the precise balance of all the facial features which attracted me to this image during our first round of judging. Eyes - Mouth - Eyes - Mouth! The balance of the composition is so exact that all these qualities stand out. Then we embark on yet another look inside the mouth, just in case we have missed something.
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