Ojo de Pez: photo contest showcases Chile’s water environments

By Cristóbal Pérez 
This year, the annual Ojo de Pez photo contest received nearly 300 entries in the five categories designed to showcase Chile’s aquatic environments. The contest was organized by the Universidad Austral of Chile, the PAR Explora from Los Rios CONICYT, and the Center for the Dynamic Research of High Altitude Marine Ecosystems.

"The call for submissions had a very positive response, as the number of participants increased markedly, as well as the quality level of the selected photographs, so it was difficult for the jury to choose," said Carlos Fischer, photographer and teacher at the School of Visual Arts of the Universidad Austral of Chile.

In addition to Fischer, the panel of judges for the contest was made up of biochemist Gabriel León, underwater photographer Eduardo Sorensen, photojournalist Franco Basso of the Diario Austral in Valdivia, and Patagon Journal executive editor Jimmy Langman.
All the judges agree that it was difficult to select the five best photographs and honorable mentions for this year’s categories, which were marine and/or lacustrine landscapes; aquatic flora and fauna; work in the sea, rivers and lakes; Antarctic and sub-Antarctic environments; and underwater photography.

The 30 best images from this year’s contest were exhibited at the R. A. Philippi Exploration Museum and the Faculty of Sciences Hall at the Austral University of Chile in Valdivia. The city of Punta Arenas will be next to host the photography exhibition.
The Winners:

Aquatic Flora and Fauna Category
Winner: Enrique Jacob Ziehlmann Mena, Coyhaique. "Perched and Waiting": A kingfisher waits patiently on a rustic bridge for some fish to swim by.

Marine and/or Lacustrine Landscape Category
Winner: José Antonio Alonso Díaz, Valdivia. "Costanera de Valdivia":  Valdivia’s coastal road offers open space and beautiful sunsets. A nice stroll to rest the soul after a long day.

Underwater Category
Winner: Liliana Isabel Calzada, La Reina. "Honu":  A honu (green turtle) photographed near the Motu Tautara, Rapa Nui.

Work at sea, rivers and lakes Category
Winner: Francois Frederic Jooris Jacmart, Valdivia. "Fishers": Fishermen checking their nets, image taken in the town of Mehuín.

Antarctic and Subantarctic Environments Category
Winner: César Cárdenas Alarcón, Punta Arenas. "Hands up": A lobster from the Munida channel, in all its splendor, seems to extend a hand to whoever needs it.

Region of Los Ríos Award
Winner: Juan Carlos Arenas Osorio, Valdivia. "Rivers, from the mountain range to the sea": The Rio Maule winds without hesitation towards its destination.

Audience Award (Facebook)
Prize awarded by popular vote.
Winner: Gaspar Ramírez Bahamondes, Peñalolén. "7 Colores": The most colorful but rarely glimpsed bird in Chile.

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