Diving beneath the oil rig, Alex had to anticipate when the cormorants would burst through the fish shoal. The birds hide behind the legs of the rig after they plunge into the dark waters, gaining the element of surprise. Alex used an underwater corrector lens, which allowed him to use his land lens underwater.
Drilling for oil is not generally considered beneficial for wildlife, yet oil rigs can provide shelter and a rich food supply for many animals, including Brandt’s cormorants. These birds are skilled pursuit divers, crashing into the water, their strong feet propel them forward so they can chase shoaling fish.
Nikon D4; 20mm f2.8 lens; 1/250 sec at f10; ISO 800; Carl Zeiss underwater corrector lens; Subal housing; two Seacam 150 Seaflashes.
Eureka Oil Rig, Long Beach, California, USA
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Alex Mustard, UK
Alexander been taking photographs for over 30 years, and his work has won several awards. In 2013, he was named European Wildlife Photographer of the Year, the only time an underwater photograph has won the award. He has also been a judge for Wildlife Photographer of the Year. In 2016, he released two books - Underwater Photography Masterclass and Secrets Of The Seas.