Surrey-based photographer Eduardo Baena is among winners of the 2019 Canadian Wildlife Photography of the Year competition, hosted by Canadian Geographic in partnership with the Canadian Museum of Nature.
Baena’s underwater photo of water lily leaves was named winner of the Plants and Trees category.
Among 5,400 entries judged by a six-person panel, the contest-winning photos “offer us an intimate glimpse at the often secretive lives of animals, and serve as a reminder that nature in all its forms is worth protecting,” says a post at canadiangeographic.ca.
Baena’s winning photo shows water lily leaves, from below, soaking up the sunlight on the surface of Brohm Lake, located about 15 kilometres north of Squamish.
Said judge Ryan Tidman: “This is a relatively common underwater shot, but very technical. The exposure is great.”
The other contest categories are Animals in Action, Birds, Up Close, Urban Wildlife and Young Photographers.
Some of our winners: pic.twitter.com/ZYbnBU4sXZ
— Canadian Geographic (@CanGeo) March 27, 2020
A Whalley-area resident, Baena immigrated here from Argentina in 2005.
“As soon as I could, I got a point-and-shoot camera and started sending pictures and stories to my friends back home – the idea was to show them how living in Canada was,” he told the Now-Leader.
“But soon everybody started complimented my images and suggested I should submit them to contests. One of the things that surprised them were my underwater images. Being a scuba diver, I had also bought the underwater housing for my point-and-shoot, so some of the pics were ‘underwater Canada’ – salmon and the like.”
Baena’s website shows some of his work, and describes him as an avid adventurer and nature photographer who spends a lot of time in the wild. His passion for wildlife has led him to experience a wide variety of animal encounters, among them swimming and scuba diving with sharks, sea lions, whale sharks and beluga whales, the website notes.
“Although some years ago I took a few pictures using film, it wasn’t until the first digital camera came to my hands that I developed this passion for photography,” Baena posted on the website. “I was (and still am!) amazed by the versatility and enormous possibilities the digital field has to offer, so once I got started… I just couldn’t stop! Nature is my favourite subject, especially underwater life, although sometimes I also shoot architecture, lights, movement.”
Baena’s Youtube channel features some of his videos of nature and wildlife.
As a category winner, Baena will receive a copy of the book The Natural History of Canadian Mammals by Donna Naughton (value: $75), four free admissions to the Canadian Museum of Nature (value: $58) and a selection of Canadian Museum of Nature products (value: $25).