Showcase 2020 Winner Profile – Sharon Wada

Showcase 2020 Judges’ Choice, Macro/Micro/All Other: "Smashing Mantis Shrimp Holding Eggs” © Sharon Wada
Showcase 2020 Judges’ Choice, Macro/Micro/All Other: “Smashing Mantis Shrimp Holding Eggs” © Sharon Wada

How I Got the Shot

Underwater photography is a balancing act of patience, awareness and readiness, not to mention the “minor” details of hauling a huge housing around while managing buoyancy, current, depth, air supply, divers, etc. When an elusive mantis shrimp (Odontodactylus scyllarus) pops up for a few seconds from a coral crevasse, one has to be quick.

In addition to its beautiful mass of well-developed eggs, this shrimp shows a hint of the “ribbon” in which they are laid. The shrimp folds these layers and masterfully tucks them underneath its body. Seeing this ribbon was a first for me and a special moment in our tropical seas.

What I Used

Sony A7R III with 90mm macro lens, Nauticam housing with macro port plus Inon strobes.  100% manual settings at ISO 160, f/16, 1/125, dual strobe lighting.

About Me

Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, I’ve been a serious amateur underwater photographer for about 20 years and have been enjoying taking classes from NANPA and other pros to improve my land-based imagery of birds and landscapes over the past 10 years.

My goal is to capture the behaviors and habitats of the tiniest creatures to the largest mammals on land and sea. I feel compelled to accelerate my work given growing threats to the health of our coral reefs and so many other natural places on our planet.

My Photographic Journey

During the first half of my life as a “city girl”, I used 35mm photography to document family, friends and vacations. In spite of being surrounded by incredible natural beauty, my literal immersion into nature photography began in my 30s after I learned to scuba dive. In addition, friends invited me to hike and rock climb in the Cascades and eventually summit Mount Adams and Baker. These experiences nurtured a strong desire for exploring natural spaces with camera in tow.

I’m grateful to mentors Nick Buckley (Grand Cayman) as well as Josh Jensen and Liz Harlin (Australia). Their teaching and encouragement accompany me under the waves.

NANPA and Me

Joined NANPA in 2016.
Showcase 2017: Two images in top 250
Showcase 2019: Image in top 100 and image in top 250

Learn More About Me

My NANPA portfolio is: http://www.nanpa.org/events/showcase/about-nanpa-showcase/2020-top-24-showcase-sharon-wada/

http://sharonwada.com
Instagram:  seashaz
sharon@sharonwada.com