Coral Bay photographer Ashlee Karas wins seascape category for sunset image in 2021 Sony Alpha Awards

Midwest Times
Coral Bay photographer Ashlee Karas' winning image titled Beneath the Surface.
Camera IconCoral Bay photographer Ashlee Karas' winning image titled Beneath the Surface.

One half of this image looks like a majestic Coral Bay sunset. The other resembles a surreal underworld.

At first glance, it’s easy for the viewer to question if it’s real. But not only is it real, it has won photographer Ashlee Karas a top prize.

The image, Beneath the Surface, won the seascape category in the 2021 Sony Alpha Awards, which attracted almost 5000 entries from across Australia and New Zealand.

Karas, originally from Melbourne, has found work in paradise, on the Ningaloo Reef. She is relatively new to photography, having only bought an underwater camera four years ago.

Soon afterwards she got a job as an underwater videographer on the Great Barrier Reef. After that she moved to Coral Bay and started work as a professional photographer.

Coral Bay photographer Ashlee Karas
Camera IconCoral Bay photographer Ashlee Karas Credit: Supplied

Karas, pictured, explained the luck and skill involved in clinching her winning shot. It didn’t hurt that the evening in question boasted “the sunset of the year”.

“I wasn’t planning on going out snorkelling, but some friends and I looked at the promising sky and I couldn’t help myself,” she said. “I ran home, set up my camera as quickly as I could and ran down to the beach.

“The super low tide paired with the complete lack of wind turned the ocean into absolute glass.

“After the sun had set, the clouds went a bright, almost fluorescent red colour and reflected on that perfectly calm ocean surface. Holding my camera at the water line, my two strobes were able to light up the pristine coral reef under the surface and capture that stunning red sunset above.”

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