WPY 2015

Photograph Details

Winner 2015


Ugo Mellone, Italy

Butterfly in crystal

Along the wild, pristine coast, Ugo was taking landscape images of the area he grew up in. Glancing down to look for an interesting foreground he saw a splash of pale orange among the white salt crystals of a small rock pool. It was a southern gatekeeper butterfly, mummified by the highly concentrated salt water and entombed in a coffin of salt. These salt deposits form in rocky crevices along the coast. The seawater pools there during rough weather, then evaporates under the strong summer Sun, leaving layers of crystallised salt. This female butterfly likely fell, exhausted, and became trapped by the surface tension of the water.

Technical specification

Canon EOS 7D + 100mm f2.8 lens; 1/10 sec at f11; ISO 100

Salento, Italy: latitude 40.090237, longitude 18.498423 Salento, Italy: latitude 40.090237, longitude 18.498423

Salento, Italy

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Ugo Mellone

Ugo Mellone, Italy

Ugo has always been fascinated by wilderness – from an aesthetic point of view, and as a place for exploration and discovery. This brought him to nature photography, and enabled him to carry out scientific research in the field of bird migration. He is currently working on a long-term photographic project in the Andalucia region of Spain.

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