WPY 2016

Photograph Details

Finalist 2016

Under Water

Greg Lecoeur, France

Split moment

For Greg, the annual sardine run is ‘the greatest show on Earth’. But after two weeks of searching he had only encountered two baitballs, one in poor visibility and this small one of redeye round herring. He captured the moment one gannet seized a mouthful of fish, a fizzing trail of bubbles in its wake.

The hunt begins as dolphins use their sonar skills and bubble streams to isolate a ball of fish, driving them to the surface. The gannets take advantage of the feast. With their wings folded back into an arrowhead, they plummet 30 metres through the air, piercing the water at up to 90 kilometres per hour.

Technical specification

Nikon D7000; Tokina 10-17mm f3.5-4.5 lens at 10mm; 1/200 sec at f9; ISO 200; Nauticam housing; two Ikelite DS160 strobes.


Near Port St Johns, South Africa: latitude -31.663824, longitude 29.593983 Near Port St Johns, South Africa: latitude -31.663824, longitude 29.593983

Near Port St Johns, South Africa

Intellectual property rights to all WPY images are retained by the photographers. Reproduction without prior written consent constitutes an actionable infringement. For usage enquiries please contact us.

Sign up to receive emails from the Natural History Museum about events and exhibitions, including Wildlife Photographer of the Year.


Greg Lecoeur

Greg Lecoeur, France

Greg fell in love with the sea during his childhood. The Mediterranean Sea became his favourite area and where he learned to scuba dive and photograph. Today he travels the world to live his childhood dream: immortalising marine life in its natural environment and sharing with the general public the beauty of nature, in order to preserve it.