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Epoty.org/Bacroft.  Photograph by Florian Sulz

German conservation photographer Florian Shulz, took the first place Environmental Photographer of the Year Award 2010 for his image of a few thousand Munkiana Devil Rays swimming in unity, a phenomenon never witnessed before. The contest, which is sponsored by the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management, recognizes both professional and amateur photographers whose work showcase and raise awareness for environmental issues.

While on a helicopter expedition off the Baja Coast of California, Shulz caught sight of the few-thousand-wide group of Devil Rays swimming together, something neither him nor his pilot had ever seen. Shulz was blown away by the beauty and scope of such an occurrence, especially as he witnessed it from above. His image originally won in the underwater category.

The contest received more then 4,500 entries this year from 97 different countries. The winning photographs from each category will be displayed at the Air Gallery in London, October 25-30. For more info head over to www.epoty.org.  Also, to see the rest of the category winners check out www.dailymail.cok.uk.

From: www.dailymail.cok.uk