See the winning images from Wildlife Photographer of the Year
A rare image of a grouper mating frenzy won French photographer Laurent Ballesta the contest’s top honor.
Deep underwater, the camera’s flash captures an explosion of new life. Two groupers, just mated, exit a cloud of eggs and sperm in the Fakarava Atoll, part of French Polynesia. The mating is so rare and so fleeting that it happens only once a year, for about 30 minutes, around the full moon in July. Photographer Laurent Ballesta spent 3,000 hours trying to capture it.
For his photograph of this extraordinary phenomenon, called “Creation,” Ballesta, a frequent National Geographic photographer, has won the prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year, awarded today by London’s Natural History Museum, which organizes the competition annually and displays an exhibit of the winners.
The photograph, called “Creation,” captures “a magical moment,” said Roz