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Fasiliers and cabbage coral: In this, the International Year of the Reef, the judges were looking for a picture that celebrates the diversity, fragility and astounding beauty of coral reefs. Taking photographs of coral is a challenge, both aesthetically and practically. Diving skills are crucial, since even the most gentle of touches from a fin or gloved hand may prove fatal to some species. So, too, is the ability to discern the most powerful cameo from what is often a bewildering display of natural colour and sculptural grandeur. Fred, whose work has featured in this competition in previous years, had photographed this reef in the Indonesian Manado Tua Marine Perk on an earlier visit. Not satisfied with his results, he revisited last September and found the composition he was looking for. The liquid formation of the fusilier shoal is a perfect echo of the waves of coral. Photographer: Fred Bavendam (USA). Winner at the BBC Photo Contest 1998