Graysby (Cephalopholis cruentata) with cleaner shrimp
Tony Cherbas
By UM News

Graysby (Cephalopholis cruentata) with cleaner shrimp
Tony Cherbas

Fantastic Photos

By UM News
The Rosenstiel School annual photo competition captures stunning images of marine life from around the world.
Black-saddled eel with cleaner shrimp, Indonesia

UM Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science best overall photo, Black-saddled eel with cleaner shrimp, Indonesia.

Photo: Marchione Giacomo

A cleaner shrimp (Periclimenes venustus) balancing on the snout of a black-saddle snake eel (Ophichthus cephalozona) is the winner of the 2017 Annual Underwater Photography Contest hosted by the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. The photographer, Marchione Giacomo, took the photo in Raja Ampat, Indonesia, and is one of more than 650 underwater images submitted for this year’s contest.

A panel of experts, including photographer and Zoo Miami communications director and Nikon ambassador, Ron Magill, and Rosenstiel School research assistant professors Evan D’Alessandro and Neil Hammerschlag, judged the photos that came from 18 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 competition also recognized the best UM student photo, which was of a Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) taken by undergraduate student  Joslen Beitel in the Galapagos Islands.

The annual underwater photography contest is open to all amateur photographers who earn no more than 20 percent of their income from their photography. View the winners of this year’s contest here. The ‘best overall’ prize is a trip on Blackbeard’s Cruises departing from Freeport, Bahamas. The ‘best UM student photos’ were sponsored by Divers Direct.

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

2017 Underwater Photo Contest Winners

Overall Winner

Marchione Giacomo, Black-saddled eel (Ophichthus cephalozona) being cleaned by a cleaner shrimp (Periclimenes venustus), Indonesia


1st place Jerome Israel, nudibranch on gorgonian (Tritonia hamnerorum), Florida Keys

2nd place: Steven Kovacs, juvenile flying fish, (family: Exocoetidae) Riviera Beach, Florida

3rd place: Dragos Dumitrescu, Formosa egg cowrie (Cuspivolva formosa), Lembeh, Indonesia

Honorable Mention: Massimo Giorgetta, Soft coral porcelain crab (Lissoporcellana nakasonei), Indonesia

Fish or Marine Animal Portrait

1st place: Andrew Delano, jawfish, family: Opistognathidae,


2nd place: Ryan Nelson, West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus), Crystal River, Florida

3rd place: Marchione Giacomo, giant manta (Manta birostris)

 with golden trevally (Gnathodon speciosus), Raja Ampat, Indonesia

Honorable Mention: Tony Cherbas, Graysby (Cephalopholis cruentata) with cleaner shrimp, Florida


1st  place: Marchione Giacomo, Whale shark (Rhincodon typus), with yellow remoras, family: Echeneidae

 Huvadhoo, South Atoll, Maldives

2nd place: Tony Cherbas, Green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas), Riviera Beach, Florida

3rd place: Massimo Giorgetta, school of longfin batfish (Platax teira), Indonesia

UM Student

1st  place: Joslen Beitel, Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki), Galapagos

2nd place: Kevin Schauer, Chain moray eel (Echidna catenata),

Curaçao, Netherland Antiles

3rd place: Rebecca Kraut, Caribbean reef squid (Sepioteuthis sepioidea), Key Largo, Florida

Honorable Mention: Joslen Beitel, Green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas), Galapagos