Rosenstiel School's underwater photo contest features enthralling pictures

A bigfin reef squid (Sepioteuthis lessoniana), photographed in Raja Ampat, Indonesia, earned second place in the "Fish or Animal Portrait" category. Photo: Luc Rooman
By Ashley A. Williams

A bigfin reef squid (Sepioteuthis lessoniana), photographed in Raja Ampat, Indonesia, earned second place in the "Fish or Animal Portrait" category. Photo: Luc Rooman

Rosenstiel School's underwater photo contest features enthralling pictures

By Ashley A. Williams
The annual competition, which has been ongoing for 15 years, received more than 700 submissions from all over the world.

From Raja Ampat, Indonesia, to Queensland, Australia, to West Palm Beach, Florida, submissions to the 2020 Annual Underwater Photography Contest hosted by the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science came from all over the world. More than 700 entries were received, and each showed the vastness of life under the sea from all corners of the globe. 

Since 2005, the contest has accepted entries from amateur photographers in the categories of macro, fish or marine animal portrait, wide angle, University of Miami student, and best overall. Winning images starred spotted burrfish (Chilomycterus reticulatus), a bigfin reef squid (Sepioteuthis lessoniana), and a whitetip reef shark (Triaenodon obesus). 

This year, the winners were revealed during a virtual presentation.  Commentary about the winning photos was provided by a panel of expert judges including Rosenstiel School biologist Michael Schmale, associate dean for infrastructure; Neil Hammerschlag, research associate professor and the director of the shark research and conservation program; Evan D’Alessandro, senior lecturer; and Lisa Alford and Zak Noyle, photographers for Canon, the sponsor of the contest. 

A close up of a short-snouted seahorse (Hippocampus hippocampus) took best overall. It was captured by Luc Rooman in Tholen, Netherlands. 

“This is a brilliant image,” said Hammerschlag. “I can’t even imagine the level of patience and skill it took to get this.”

2020 Rosenstiel School Underwater Photo Contest Winners

Overall Winner

Luc Rooman, Short-snouted seahorse (Hippocampus hippocampus)
Location: Tholen, Netherlands

UM Student—Macro

1st place: Liv Williamson, Mushroom coral (Lobactis scutaria)
Location: Kaneohe Bay, Oahu, Hawaii

2nd place: Daisy Buzzoni, Scaly-tailed mantis shrimp (Lysiosquilla scabricauda),
Captured on Canon PowerShot G7 X
Location: Blue Heron Bridge, West Palm Beach, Florida

3rd Place: Liv Williamson, Peppermint shrimp (Lysmata wurdemanni)
Location: North Dry Rocks, Key Largo, Florida

Honorable Mention: Daisy Buzzoni, Spotted scorpion fish (Scorpaena plumieri)
Location: Blue Heron Bridge, West Palm Beach, Florida

Honorable Mention: Liv Williamson, Seaweed blenny (Parablennius marmoreus)
Location: Key Biscayne, Florida

Honorable Mention: Adriana Davis, Yellow line arrow crab (Stenorhynchus seticornis)
Location: Blue Heron Bridge, West Palm Beach, Florida

Macro

1st place: Mathieu Macias, Harlequin Shrimp (Hymenocera picta)
Captured on Canon EO5 5D Mark III
Location: Lembeh, Indonesia

2nd place: Walter Bassi, Mediterranean Moray eel and cleaner shrimp (Muraena Helena; Lysmata-Isola)
Location: Bergreggi, Liguria, Italy

3rd place: Andrey Shpatak, Octopus argonaut (Argonauta hians)
Location: Anilao, Philippines

Honorable Mention: Gabriel Barathieu, Common Parrotfish (Scarus Psittacus)
Captured on Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
Location: Raja Ampat, Misool, Indonesia 

UM Student—Fish or Animal Portrait

1st place: Romain Chaput, Spotted Burrfish (Chilomycterus reticulatus)
Captured on EOS Canon 7D
Location: Key Largo, Florida

2nd place: Liv Williamson, Channel clinging crab (Mithrax spinosissimus)
Location: Cape Eleuthera, Bahamas

3rd place: Liv Williamson, Atlantic spadefish (Chaetodipterus faber)
Location: Dania Beach, Florida

Honorable Mention: Romain Chaput, Spotted moray eel (Gymnothorax moringa)
Captured on Canon 7D
Location: Blue Heron Bridge, West Palm Beach, Florida 

Honorable Mention: Adriana Davis, Oyster toadfish (Ospanus tau)
Location: Blue Heron Bridge, West Palm Beach, Florida 

Honorable Mention: Daisy Buzzoni, Seaweed Blenny (Parablennius marmoreus)
Captured on Canon PowerShot G7 X
Location: Blue Heron Bridge, West Palm Beach, Florida

Fish or Marine Animal Portrait

1st place: Fuschia Collard, Peacock Rockskipper (Istiblennius meleagris)
Location: Point Perry, Coolum Beach, Queensland, Australia

2nd place: Luc Rooman, Bigfin reef squid (Sepioteuthis lessoniana)
Location: Raja Ampat, Indonesia

3rd place: Mathieu Macias, White tip reef shark (Trianodon obesus)
Captured on Canon PowerShot G7 X
Location: Noumea, New Caledonia

Honorable Mention: Walter Bassi, John Dory (Zues faber)
Location: Capo Noli, Liguria, Italy

UM Student—Wide Angle

1st place: Romain Chaput, School of schoolmaster (Lutjanus apodus)
Captured on Canon EOS 7D
Location: Benwood Wreck, Florida

2nd Place: Liv Williamson, Caribbean reef shark (Carcharhinus perezii)
Location: Nassau, Bahamas 

3rd Place: Alexandra Nixon, Barrel sponge (Xestospongia muta)
Location: Saint Lucia 

Honorable Mention: Romain Chaput, Tiger shark (Galeocerdo cuvier)
Captured on Canon EOS 7D
Location: Jupiter, Florida

Wide Angle

1st place: Celia Kujala, Stellar sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus)
Location: Norris Rocks, Hornby Island, British Columbia, Canada

2nd place: Benjamin Fernandez-Oliva, Short Fin Mako (Isurus oxyrinchus)
Location: Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur, Mexico

3rd place: Gabriel Barathieu, Diagonal banded sweetlips (Plectorhinchus lineatus)
Captured on Canon EO5 5D Mark IV
Location: Cape Kri, Raja Ampat, Indonesia

Honorable Mention: Celia Kujala, Stellar Sea Lion (Eumetopias jubatus)
Location: Norris Rocks, Hornby Island, British Columbia, Canada

UM Student—Marine Conservation

1st place: Rachel Sandquist, Juvenile white saddle goatfish (Parupeneus cilates)
Location: Makaha, Oahu, Hawaii

2nd place: Liv Williamson, Staghorn coral nursery (Acropora cervicornis)
Location: Cat Island, Bahamas

3rd place: Alexandra Nixon, Abandoned Bike
Location: Kittiwake Wreck, Grand Cayman, Cayman Island

Honorable Mention: Liv Williamson, Staghorn coral nursery (Acropora cervicornis)
Location: Key Biscayne, Florida

Marine Conservation

1st place: Morgan Bennett-Smith, Parrotfish (Scaridae spp.) trapped in an abandoned fishing net
Location: Tioman Island, Malaysia

2nd place: Guido Villani, purple stripped jellyfish (pelagia noctiluca)
Location: Bacoli, Naples, Italy

3rd place: Emilio Mancuso, Whale Shark (rhyncodon typus)
Captured with Canon EOS 7D
Location: Ras Korali, Djibouti Africa

Honorable Mention: Emilio Mancuso, Coconut octopus (Amphioctopus marginatus)
Location: Anilao, Philippines