WPY 2012

Photograph Details

Runner-up 2012

Behaviour: Birds

Cristóbal Serrano, Spain

The eye of the baitball

Cristóbal found this great circling shoal of grunt fish in the Sea of Cortez, Mexico, and watched it over two days. He would dive down and then sit on the sandy bottom some 20 metres below the surface to watch. ‘With the sky behind the fish ball,’ he says, ‘it looked like a shimmering body of energy. I just needed a focal point to get the picture I was after.’ A pelagic cormorant was also watching the fish, and now and then it would shoot a hole through the ever-tightening baitball (tightening in response to the predator), making it easier for it to pick off individual fish. Cristóbal tried to predict the angle that the cormorant would use. After many attempts, using a fisheye lens and strobes to illuminate the fish and the sandy bottom, he got the shot.

Technical specification

Canon EOS 5D Mark II + 8-15mm f4 lens; 1/125 sec at f4.5; ISO 100; Seacam housing; strobes.

Sea of Cortez, Baja California, Mexico: latitude 28.2468, longitude -112.282 Sea of Cortez, Baja California, Mexico: latitude 28.2468, longitude -112.282

Sea of Cortez, Baja California, Mexico

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Cristóbal Serrano, Spain

Cristobal discovered nature photography after graduating from Alicante University in Spain. He focuses on creating scenes with a strong visual impact to transmit knowledge and promote the conservation of the natural world. His work has won prizes in international competitions.