WPY 2015

Photograph Details

Finalist 2015

Under Water

Thomas P Peschak, Germany/South Africa

Just jellyfish

For years, I have been trying to make a photograph that foreshadows a world without fish,’ says Tom, ‘and this one evening, all the elements aligned’. He had been photographing Cape fur seals off South Africa’s western coast, when the current propelled a large swarm of Cape box jellyfish into a sheltered bay. The effects of overfishing and climate change are causing jellyfish populations to increase. Warmer waters boost their reproductive potential, while overfishing reduces the number of fish that prey on the juveniles. In turn, jellyfish eat the eggs and larvae of fish. The loss of fish will have serious consequences for their predators, including these seals.

Technical specification

Nikon D3S + 16mm lens; 1/250 sec at f18; ISO 320; Subal housing; x2 Inon strobes.


Duiker Island, Western Cape, South Africa: latitude -34.058548, longitude 18.326859 Duiker Island, Western Cape, South Africa: latitude -34.058548, longitude 18.326859

Duiker Island, Western Cape, South Africa

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Thomas P Peschak, Germany/South Africa

Thomas is an assignment photographer for National Geographic Magazine. He has written and photographed five books and won multiple Wildlife Photographer of the Year and World Press Photo awards. He is a speaker for the National Geographic Live series and in 2015 gave a TED talk titled Dive Into an Ocean Photographer's World.

  • Midnight feast
  • Death rays
  • Here come the snappers
  • Before the tide turned
  • Tree of life
  • Goblets of desire
  • Green haven
  • The night shift
  • The shark surfer
  • Crabzilla