WPY 2012

Photograph Details

Specially commended 2012

Underwater Worlds

Claudio Gazzaroli, Switzerland

Evening rays

North Sound, off the island of Grand Cayman, is a hotspot for ‘friendly’ southern stingrays – individuals accustomed to interacting with humans. Fishermen historically discarded their unwanted fish parts once they reached the calm waters of the sandbar at the Sound. The stingrays gathered for an easy meal and learnt to associate the boat-engine noise with food. Today, snorkellers gather in the waist-deep water to meet these charismatic fish. Inspired by David Doubilet’s original split-level portrait of a Cayman stingray, Claudio set out to capture an image of the stingrays with a different perspective. ‘There were about 75 of them undulating through the shallows,’ he says. Balancing the light was a problem ‘because of the extremes in contrast between the dramatic evening sky and sandy sea bottom’, but keeping people out of the picture proved to be more of a challenge than executing the composition.

Technical specification

Canon EOS 5D Mark II + 15mm lens; 1/160 sec at f16; ISO 200; Nexus housing; two Subtronic Mega Color strobes.


North Sound, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands: latitude 19.32217, longitude -81.24087 North Sound, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands: latitude 19.32217, longitude -81.24087

North Sound, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

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Claudio Gazzaroli, Switzerland