The winning photographs from Mantafest 2019 have been announced, and the international panel of judges awarded the best of show image to Swiss underwater photographer and blackwater diver Sheila Ott.

The winning image is unique and catches a split-second moment when a squid grabs another and devours it in the darkness off Micronesia.

Blackwater diving is when a photographer takes the plunge late at night, far from light pollution, with no lights. Lamps are suspended from the boat, and the photographers wait in the darkness to see what turns up.

Discussing her wining shot, Ott stated:

“Blackwater night diving is so addicting! If you get a chance, just do it! I first saw the squid attack at some distance and took off kicking to try to get a shot.”

Winners of this year’s awards include:

  • Best of show: Sheila Ott.
  • Best of Class DSLR: Mike Fusco.
  • Best of Class Non-DSLR: Katja Jakobsen.
  • Best Video Submission: Judy Bennett.

MantaFest Photo School 2020 will take place August 31st to September 13th, 2020.

You can find out more about Mantafest here and here.

(Image credit: Sheila Ott)

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