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Japanese War Bonnet Wins UM Rosenstiel School Underwater Photo Contest

By Diana Udel

Japanese War Bonnet Wins UM Rosenstiel School Underwater Photo Contest

By Diana Udel

MIAMI – April 22, 2015 – More than 500 underwater images were submitted for the 2015 Annual Underwater Photography Contest hosted by the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. The ‘best overall’ photograph was submitted under the Fish or Marine Animal Portrait category and was shot off Rudnaya Bay, Japan Sea. The photo by Audrey Shpatak is of a Japanese War Bonnet fish (Chirolophis japonicas). A panel of experts, including photographer and UM lecturer Myron Wang, underwater photographer Nicole Wang and Rosenstiel School Research Assistant Professor Evan D’Alessandro judged the photos which came from 10 countries and 15 U.S. states. Awards were given in four categories: macro, fish or marine animal portrait, wide angle, and best overall submission. The School also recognized the best UM student photo, which was of a Great Hammerhead (Sphyrna mokarran), taken by Laura Rock in Bimini, Bahamas.

The underwater photography contest is held annually, and is open to all amateur photographers who earn no more than 20 percent of their income from their photography. To view the winners of this year’s contest, visit

The ‘best overall’ prize is a trip on Blackbeard’s Cruises departing from Freeport, Bahamas. This year’s ‘best UM student photos’ were sponsored by Divers Direct.

Winners listed by category, and location where photo was shot:

Overall Winner

Andrey Shpatak, Rudnaya Bay, Japan Sea



1st place:Tony Barrros, Siquijor Island, Dumaguete, Philippines

2nd place: Ching Kwan Ng, Lembeh, Indonesia

3rd place: Mark Fuller, Eilat, Israel


Fish or Marine Animal Portrait

1st place: Beth Watson, Lembeh, Indonesia

2nd place: Kostas Milonakis, East Attica, Greece

3rd place: Judy Towsend, Blue Heron Bridge, Florida



1st  place: Hani Bader, Kingdom of Bahrain

2nd place: Filippo Borghi, Raja Ampat, Indonesia

3rd place: Mark Fuller, Eilat, Israel


UM Student

1st  place: Laura Rock, Bimini, Bahamas

2nd place: Laura Rock, Bimini, Bahamas

3rd place: Christopher Brown, Florida


About the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School

 The University of Miami is the largest private research institution in the southeastern United States. The University’s mission is to provide quality education, attract and retain outstanding students, support the faculty and their research, and build an endowment for University initiatives. Founded in the 1940’s, the Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science has grown into one of the world’s premier marine and atmospheric research institutions. Offering dynamic interdisciplinary academics, the Rosenstiel School is dedicated to helping communities to better understand the planet, participating in the establishment of environmental policies, and aiding in the improvement of society and quality of life. For more information, please visit