Each spring, the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science hosts an underwater photography contest open to amateur photographers who earn no more than 20 percent of their income from photography. Since its inception in 2005, the contest has drawn entrants from across the globe submitting more than 400 images per year. Photographs are judged in five separate categories: Fish or Marine Animal Portrait, Macro, Wide Angle, Student, and Best Overall.
The following photo by Kyle McBurnie, from California, own this year’s contest. The beautiful beastie is a harbor seal (Phoca vitulina) in a kelp forest at Cortes Bank, about 100 miles west of San Diego, California.