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UPY Behaviour - Highly Commended
'Circle of Life'
An image that simultaneously provokes joy and sadness; the beginning of many lives and the end of one.
A small artificial reef was being developed in Port Phillip Bay on the Mornington Peninsula. It was especially designed to provide a safe environment for octopuses to lay their eggs. Several pipes were installed and the next day this Pale Octopus moved in. It wasn't long before she had individually hung up all her eggs inside the pipe. I observed her over several days as she moved about carefully tending to her eggs before I captured this shot.
This was a tight spot to get my camera into so without disturbing her I used a low beam hand held torch and internal flash to capture this octopus proudly displaying all her eggs perfectly.
Judge's comment: Such a strong image visually perfected by the sparkles of light on each leading egg. Strong yet delicate. - Peter Rowlands
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