Last year I entered my first photography competition, I have always loved taking photos but never considered entering a competition before. After a year of living in the Lembeh Strait, the Mecca of underwater macro life I had accumulated quite a collection of photos. With the black sandy slopes and unique wildlife Lembeh is a paradise for underwater photographers, allowing you to get striking images of the quirky critters.
When I received an email to say my photo had been shortlisted in the "Natural World & Wildlife" category I never expected it. Out of 193278 images entered from 194 territories and countries I was over the moon.
Above is my shortlisted photo "Nemo's Nightmare" playfully named with the Halloween like colours from the contrasting anemone. But the name also rings true scientifically, if you look closer at the anemone fish you can a small white creature inside its mouth, this is actually a pretty gruesome parasite! Named a tongue eating isopod, it essentially does what it says on the tin. The parasite enters through the fish's gills and latches on to its tongue which over time it eats completely, replacing the tongue and feeding on the blood of the fish.
I remembered hearing about these during a parasitology module at University and I was so fascinated to see one in person. Capturing it on camera was a little more difficult, the fish was moving often and closing its mouth quickly. But after a lot of persistence I managed to capture my subject!
My photo was due to be shown in an exhibition in London in May 2020, but unfortunately after being postponed and eventually cancelled, like many things last year it wasn't to be. I am hoping there are more photography ventures ahead.
You can see the full 2020 shortlist here.