open giant clam
Maryanne Nelson of Durango, CO, knows how hard it can be to get a great underwater shot—the 60-year-old scuba enthusiast has been taking cameras on dives for decades. “You have currents pushing you, a wetsuit impeding your movement, and all that scuba gear,” says the former teacher. Still, she snapped this rare photo of an open giant clam, our underwater Photo Challenge winner, on a trip to Australia, where she got married last summer.Her final stop down under was the Great Barrier Reef. “We saw groupers, lion fish, and many giant clams, all shut tight,” she recalls. Then she spotted this one, just 30 feet down, in perfect light. “I swam to its side to try to sneak up on it,” says Nelson. She got off two shots with her underwater-housed Canon PowerShot G9, just before her subject clammed up.—Lori Fredrickson. Maryanne Nelson