Ultra-rare shot of blue-blooded crab wins Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2023
The ancient mariner - Overall winner [Nikon D5 + 13mm f2.8 lens; 1/25 at f22; ISO 800; Seacam housing; 2x Seacam strobes] (Image credit: Laurent Ballesta)

French underwater photographer Laurent Ballesta has been awarded Wildlife Photographer of the Year for a second time, for his winning image The Golden Horseshoe. His remarkable capture shows a  tri-horseshoe crab surrounded by a trio of golden trevally fish. This unusual-looking species of crab has thrived in our oceans for more than 100 million years, but it’s now an endangered species due to habitat destruction and overfishing for its unique blue blood used to make vaccines. 

This year over 49,900 entries were submitted from 95 countries, showcasing the world’s most exceptional wildlife photography. Being named Wildlife Photographer of the Year twice is surely one of the highlights of Ballesta’s career, having also won the title in 2021 with his image of camouflaged groupers amid a milky cloud of eggs and sperm in Fakarava, French Polynesia.

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Hannah Rooke
Staff Writer

Having studied Journalism and Public Relations at the University of the West of England Hannah developed a love for photography through a module on photojournalism. She specializes in Portrait, Fashion and lifestyle photography but has more recently branched out in the world of stylized product photography. For the last 3 years Hannah has worked at Wex Photo Video as a Senior Sales Assistant using her experience and knowledge of cameras to help people buy the equipment that is right for them. With 5 years experience working with studio lighting, Hannah has run many successful workshops teaching people how to use different lighting setups.