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Underwater Image Wins “Best Portrait” Category in Bird Photographer of the Year 2021
By Ian Bongso-Seldrup, September 2, 2021 @ 09:30 PM (EST)


The winners of the 2021 Bird Photographer of the Year awards have been announced, with Mexican photographer Alejandro Prieto clinching the grand prize for his shot of a roadrunner surveying a portion of the US–Mexico border (below). The competition received more than 22,000 entries.

However, it was the winner of the Portrait category that caught our eye: Spaniard Felipe Foncueva’s brilliant capture of a diving brown pelican, which was taken off the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. Felipe says: “Looking at this image, I am struck by the similarity between the way the pouch beneath the pelican’s bill functions and the throat of a feeding baleen whale. At first glance you could be forgiven for thinking you are looking at a marine mammal rather than a bird!” So true!

Foncueva used a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV with 8–15mm f/4 at 15mm (f/9, 1/10s, ISO 200) to capture his impressive avian freediver.
 

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