I have consistently been part of the Nature’s Best Photography Awards the last 7 years, but each year the photography is more amazing and the competition more difficult. I am honored to have even one image accepted and especially pleased that this year it was one of my underwater images. I love photographing dramatic landscapes, but I am equally excited by underwater and wildlife photography.
My underwater portrait of a Steller sea lion had an excellent 2010. Last summer, it received 2nd Place in the 2010 International Conservation Photography Awards in the Underwater Category and was featured on the promotional poster for the event. The poster was highly visible around Seattle all summer and even made a cameo appearance in an episode of Grey’s Anatomy. This image is currently Highly Honored in the Underwater Category in the 2010 Nature’s Best Windland Smith Rice International Awards and is one of 6 images featured on the cover of the current issue. I’ve also been told that it will be displayed in the Smithsonian Natural History Museum.
I created this image with my Canon 5D and Canon 17-40mm f4 lens with a +2 diopter inside an Ikelite 5D underwater housing with dual Ikelite DS 160 strobes attached with ULCS arms. The image initially required minimal processing, but I spent a lot of time cloning out backscatter in Photoshop.