2017 is the year that I have decided to be bold and begin showing St Louis my underwater life and all of the beauty that that life so blessedly holds! Not just fish, corals etc but people as well.
In order to “put myself out there”, I needed to enter a contest and wanted to do so locally. SEEN 10 was my choice. Entering 15 minutes before the cut off time (hey I was really trying to not “put myself out there” but God kept nudging me) my CD of images were dropped off at Studio Altius which holds a local competition for the “best photographers in St Louis”…haha, those five words were enough to stop me!
Several weeks later I was informed that out of over 500 entrants, six of my photos had made it into the finalist’s and that I was in the top ten for Photographer of the Year. What??
I am so thrilled to say that one of my photos, Dance of The Sardines, won the category of Water.
Dance of the Sardines is very special to me. Traveling and scuba diving in the Philippines is a possibly (hopefully not), a once-in-a-life-time opportunity for my husband and I. For two weeks we stayed on a live aboard, never wore a pair of shoes for 14 days and never left the boat unless we were diving underwater. Thank you Blue Water for arranging the trip!!! I have never seen so many beautiful small and large creatures in the water! On one dive, Sardines were clustered into a Bait Ball. A bait ball occurs when the sardines swarm in a tightly packed spherical formation. It is a last-ditch defensive measure adopted by small schooling fish when they are threatened by predators. Small schooling fish are eaten by many types of predators, and for this reason they are called bait fish.
I am not a predator and this was the best show I have ever seen in my entire life!!! I took photos but for much of the time, I just watched as the Sardines danced. They swam in their ball, then all of the sudden, changed course and swam another direction, just dancing. One would lead, others would follow. I love to re-live the image in my memory, however, I absolutely love to view the photo to imprint the gift that God gave me on that amazingly beautiful day. Thank you Sardines for dancing for me and thank you SEEN 10 for allowing me the opportunity to show St Louis the underworld.