The strange world of the deep blue sea reveals itself in a new exhibit of underwater photography at the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science.
Golden gobies, barrel jellies and a pair of under-appreciated Molly Miller blennies come to life in photos, from serene to comic, that show the diversity, beauty and sheer freakishness of the seas. The pictures, from the Bahamas to the Galapagos Islands, won the University of Miami’s annual underwater contest for amateur photographers, a spring tradition for the last decade. They will be on display through August.
The photos were selected from more than 500 pictures from 10 countries and judged by a panel from the university’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science.
This year’s student winner, UM student Laura Rock, is a return champ after winning the same category last year. For the 2015 contest, Rock submitted a belly shot of a bug-eyed hammerhead shark, in all its prehistoric glory.
The best overall shot came from the Sea of Japan where Andrey Shpatak photographed a Japanese war bonnet, a cousin to the Molly Miller, looking like a samurai wrestler, or a regular at the cantina in Star Wars.
All photographs had to be taken in a natural environment — no pools or aquariums. Minor editing for brightness, contrast or cropping was allowed, but no drastic photo shopping. Winners also had to be amateurs. Works could not have been previously published. Prizes ranged from a cruise to the Bahamas for the first-place winner to cash and gift certificates.