WPY 2016

Photograph Details

Finalist 2016

Reptiles, Amphibians and Fish

Iago Leonardo, Spain

The disappearing fish

In the open ocean there is nowhere to hide, but the lookdowns at the top of this image are masters of disguise. This disappearing act impressed Iago, who was free-diving with special permission around protected Contoy Island. Using only natural light, he framed them against a shoal of grunt to highlight the contrast between the two species.

The flanks of the lookdown are covered with minute, silvery scales that act almost like underwater mirrors. In the open ocean this makes them almost invisible to predators and prey alike, particularly when viewed from chase angles – 45 degrees from either the head or tail – the angles most predators attack from.

Technical specification

Canon EOS 5D; 20mm f2.8 lens; 1/320 sec at f11; ISO 400; Ikelite housing.


Contoy Island, near Cancún, Mexico: latitude 21.496393, longitude -86.79535 Contoy Island, near Cancún, Mexico: latitude 21.496393, longitude -86.79535

Contoy Island, near Cancún, Mexico

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Iago Leonardo

Iago Leonardo, Spain

Iago is a graduate of the European University of Madrid, Complutense University of Madrid and the International School of Film and Television in Havana, Cuba. His work has garnered awards in competitions in Mexico, Colombia and Spain.