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UPY Wide Angle - Commended
'Beneath the Canopy'
Blue rockfish and giant kelp are two species more or less guaranteed at this particular shore dive in Monterey, that is if the conditions allow you to dive the site. The orientation of the beach exposes the site to incoming swells from the open ocean, often making it difficult or impossible to dive safely. Days when it is safe to dive, thick coastal fog often blocks out the sun almost entirely and nutrient rich upwellings reduce visibility casting a green haze into the water. On rare occasions, the stars align providing calm seas, outstanding visibility, and brilliant 3-dimensional sun beams that pierce the kelp canopy. These days the kelp forest becomes one of the most magical underwater environments on Earth. Focused on capturing the dramatic ambience of the stellar conditions, I forced myself to shut off the new strobes attached to my camera.
Judge's comment: When the elements of nature combine to our advantage we are treated to scenes of inspirational power. Nothing we could add in terms of additional light would help and the photographer wisely turned his strobes off. Sometimes less is more when you've got so much to begin with.
- Peter Rowlands
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