A tentacle-filled selfie taken by an octopus won the top Ocean Art 2020 competition award, beating out some impressive underwater photos.

BY KYLE ENCINA

An Octopus selfie recently took the number one spot in the Ocean Art 2020 photography contest. The curious invertebrate fiddled with a Nikon camera which led to it taking an award-winning wide-angle fisheye photo.

Ocean Art is an annual competition that gathers breathtaking underwater photography shots from some of the best wildlife photographers, vying for a prize value deemed “among the highest in the world.”

According to Underwater Photography Guide, the photograph titled “The Day Of The Tentacles” took the top spot in the wide-angle category, and winning Best of Show overall. The person responsible for the winning photo is Gaetano Dario Gargiulo, who took the photo in New South Wales, Australia during low tide.

“On the day of the photo, I remained in the tide pool as the tide was too low to venture outside of its boundaries. In one of the shallowest parts of the pool I noticed an octopus. I placed my camera near its den and the octopus started interacting with it. It came completely out of the den and to our amazement it started shooting pictures! My son (3 y.o. in the background) was very curious about the octopus.” Gaetano Dario Gargiulo

Gargiulo’s playful octopus might have won top prize, but there are winners in other categories worth mentioning, including Galice Hoarau’s meticulously detailed “Seahorse,”

Jon Anderson’s captivating “Cathedral of Kelp

and Steven Kovacs’ mesmerizing “Acanthonus Armatus.”

The photos mentioned were shot using an Olympus E-M1 II, a Nikon D850 and D500, respectively, all of which are high quality shooters. However, will smartphones carrying powerful photographic capabilities, like Huawei’s Mate 40 Pro, ever get a shot at these contests any time soon?

Smartphones are constantly evolving into highly capable cameras, with IP-ratings that even allow them to be fully submerged. This not only makes it possible for smartphones to take part in underwater photography contests like these, but also makes award-winning shots more feasible as well.

With companies like Samsung constantly developing cutting-edge smartphone camera technologies, it might only be a matter of time before smartphones start showing up in photography competitions, alongside standalone cameras.

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