DPReview has published an article about Justin Hofman’s image that has been shortlisted in the 2017 Wildlife Photographer of the Year contest. It features a small estuarine seahorse (Hippocampus kuda) attached to the plastic shaft of an ear bud or Q-tip.
In the image’s official caption, Hofman describes how the behavior occurred:
“As the tide started to come in, the mood changed. The water contained more and more decidedly unnatural objects—mainly bits of plastic—and a film of sewage sludge covered the surface. The seahorse let go of a piece of seagrass and seized a long, wispy piece of clear plastic. As a brisk wind at the surface picked up, making conditions bumpier, the seahorse took advantage of something that offered a more stable raft: a waterlogged plastic cotton swab.”
In the DPReview interview, he goes on to offer advice and discusses the equipment he was using. The image was taken using a Sony A7R II and Sony 16-35mm F4 lens in a Nauticam housing with a Sea&Sea 240mm dome and two Sea and Sea YS-D1 strobes.