Professional and amateur dive photographers are invited to enter their portraits of colorful, ornate sea slugs called nudibranchs in a special online photo contest sponsored by The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk.
The Aquarium’s “Nudibranch Photo Contest” is tied to a current special exhibit at the Connecticut attraction that features live nudibranchs, a group of shell-less mollusks sought out by divers because of their brilliant colors and striking forms.
“Finding – and photographing – a nudibranch on a reef can be like discovering a tiny gorgeous gem,” said Aquarium spokesman Dave Sigworth. “As exceptional and appreciated as they are, nudibranchs also are vulnerable to ocean warming and ocean acidification, which is the message in our exhibit, ‘A Slug’s Life: Facing the Climate Endgame.’ We hope that this photo contest – like the exhibit – will help call attention to these special creatures and, we hope, inspire action to ensure they'll be here for future divers and photographers.”
Contest entries can be submitted now, with the hopes of winning the top prize of a one-year membership to any aquarium or zoo in the U.S accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA).
Submissions will be shared online for public voting after review by the Aquarium. The sooner that entries are submitted, the more days they’ll have to potentially accumulate votes before the contest’s end on April 23.
The photo with the most online votes wins the top prize. Plus, the Top 5 vote-getters will be displayed in the exhibit, which is open through June 13.
The Maritime Aquarium’s "A Slug’s Life: Facing the Climate Endgame” already features a collection of fantastic nudibranch portraits by photographers from around the world, including Kevin Lee (California), Gordon Tillen (the Philippines), Keith Ellenbogen (New York City), Alicia Hermosilla (Mexico), Jim Anderson (Scotland) and Emanuel Gonçalves (Portugal). The photographs, along with more than a dozen onyx and marble nudibranch sculptures in the exhibit by Gar Waterman of New Haven, demonstrate how nudibranchs can be celebrated as art forms, which encourages Aquarium guests to learn more about the creatures and the exhibit’s environmental message.
Photographers and divers of all skill levels are invited to submit to the “Nudibranch Photo Contest.” Get the full list of contest rules, submit a photo, and cast votes at www.maritimeaquarium.org/nudibranch-photo-contest.