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UPY Behaviour - Highly Commended
This is a photo of Japanese angelfish mating with slender sprats in the background taken in Kashiwajima, Japan. Kashiwajima is one of my favorite places to take photos, coincidentally these two fish are also two of the most iconic Kashiwajima species. Japanese angelfish mate in summer and fall, around 15 minutes before and after sunset. When shooting behavior, I usually try my best to keep everything under control but what's dramatic is that this photo was taken by accident.
The reef where Japanese angelfish mate usually doesn't have a lot of slender sprats passing by and I never thought I could combine the two in one photo. But while taking this picture, wating for the Angelfish to fertilize the eggs, I saw the slender sprats swimming from behind in the viewfinder. It was just a moment, but luckily I caught the image. Maybe uncertainty is part of the fun of underwater photography.
Judge's comment: Spawning fish are rarely seen and even more rarely photographed. To catch these angelfish in their spawning rise, both fully in focus, eyes in view and with the male nuzzling the female, and to do so against a curtain of baitfish is remarkable. - Alex Mustard
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