WPY 2018

Photograph Details

Highly commended 2018

Animal Portraits

Tony Wu, USA

Looking for Love

Tony was on a mission – he wanted to capture an image that portrayed the ‘unique expression and burning desire of a male in love’. His subject was the Asian sheepshead wrasse, a fish found near Sado Island. After years of planning, and amid torrential rain, he finally found an earnest suitor for his portrait. ‘This,’ he says, ‘is the face of a fish looking for love’.

If there are no dominant males in the school of Asian sheepshead wrasse, larger, older female wrasse will change sex. The transformed fish will use its bulbous head, which turns red in the breeding season, to gain control over other males, attracting a harem of females in the process. It will then mate with these females dozens of times a day.

Technical specification

Nikon D800 + Sigma 15mm f2.8 lens; 1/200 sec at f11; ISO 200; Nauticam housing; Pro‑One dome port; Two Nikon SB-910 flashes + custom Zillion housings


Sado Island, Japan: latitude 38.275356, longitude 138.5087 Sado Island, Japan: latitude 38.275356, longitude 138.5087

Sado Island, Japan

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Tony Wu

Tony Wu, USA

Since 1995, Tony has been combining his love of visual art with his interest in the marine world through underwater photography. He now focuses on photographing cetaceans and documenting spawning aggregations of fish. Tony uses his photographs and writing to encourage others to appreciate and protect the beauty of the oceans. He is also a frequent public speaker.

  • Giant gathering
  • The big four
  • Giant encounter
  • Snapper party