WPY 2017

Photograph Details

Finalist 2017

The Wildlife Photojournalist Award: Single Image

Justin Hofman, USA

Sewage surfer

Justin watched, delighted as the seahorse bounced from one piece of natural debris to the next. However, as rubbish and sewage began to sluice the shore, the creature seized upon this cotton bud as a stable anchor. Justin’s admiration for the beautiful seahorse soon turned to ‘vitriolic anger’ at the ‘incoming tide of pollution and litter’.

Because of their unusual equine shape, seahorses are poor swimmers. They propel themselves forward using their wing-like dorsal fins, with their smaller pectoral fins used for steering. It’s exhausting work, so they often catch a ride or take a break by clinging to sea grasses and corals with their prehensile tails.

Technical specification

Sony A7R II; 16–35mm f4 lens; 1/60 sec at f16; ISO 320; Nauticam housing and Zen 230mm Nauticam N120 Superdome; two Sea & Sea strobes with electronic sync.


Sumbawa, Indonesia: latitude -8.504022, longitude 117.428444 Sumbawa, Indonesia: latitude -8.504022, longitude 117.428444

Sumbawa, Indonesia

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Justin Hofman

Justin Hofman, USA

Justin spends most of his time working on expedition vessels as an educator, lecturer, dive guide, photographer or expedition leader. This work has taken him to every ocean and some of the most remote places on Earth where human impact can nonetheless be seen. His goal is to educate people on ways they can support conservation efforts through the daily choices they make.