2022 Connect Photo Contest Winners

Smooth flower coral


Hammerhead shark swimming toward the camera with fish swimming behind
Great Hammerhead © Chris Duncan, Georgia Aquarium
Chris Duncan headshot
2022 Photo Contest Winner

Chris Duncan

Chris Duncan is the videographer and content producer at Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, Ga. He has been documenting the underwater world for more than thirteen years. His photography and videography journey began at Walt Disney World where he developed his skills filming the guest immersion program at The Seas in Epcot. In 2009, he began managing the Georgia Aquarium’s Dive Immersion Program, that brings over 25,000 divers and swimmers annually through the Aquarium’s largest exhibit. 

During his time on the dive team, Chris established and optimized the standard operating procedures for capturing and editing the guest experience video before the divers were back on dry land. He also filmed underwater for the Discovery Channel production “The Aquarium” on Animal Planet.

From there, his passion led to his current role on the Georgia Aquarium’s marketing and communications team. Chris’ surface, and subsurface, storytelling captures all the animal content for marketing, social, and internal usage. For Chris, combining SCUBA diving with content creation has been a dream job in the making. Throughout his formative years in Georgia and Florida, he grew up around water to the soundtrack of Jimmy Buffett on repeat. No matter the temperature, you’ll usually catch him wearing flip flops—and even though he lives in land-locked Atlanta, he’s always planning his next dive trip to seek out his first love, sharks.

Chris has been fascinated by all shark species since he was a child. They are one of his favorite animals to capture due to the intimidating reputation that cloaks their relatively calm demeanor when you approach them in a controlled manner. Underwater photography is equal parts fun and challenging. To capture this photograph, Chris said that understanding the animal’s behavior was key.

“Hammerheads are predictably unpredictable. You must always have your finger on the shutter, knowing the shot you were planning on the surface might not be the shot you get underwater. You’ll be trying to film an animal coming through a bait ball, and three hundred shots later they might just decide to pose for a close-up.”

Close up, indeed!

Honorable Mentions


Reticulated Giraffe
Reticulated Giraffe © Shandy Mikkelsen, Blank Park Zoo
African Elephant
African Elephant © Hilarie A. Weiland, Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Lined Seahorse
Lined Seahorse © Julie Toma, SEA LIFE Arizona Aquarium
Macaroni Penguin
Macaroni Penguin © Marissa Blanton, Kansas City Zoo
West Indian Manatee
West Indian Manatee © Hayley Rutger, Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium
Smooth Flower Coral
Smooth Flower Coral © Wade Thomas, Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium
Nyala © George Bernal, Phoenix Zoo
Rattlesnake © Kendle Enter, South Carolina Aquarium
Red Wolf
Red Wolf © Michelle Steinmeyer, Endangered Wolf Center
East African Crowned Crane
East African Crowned Crane © Mel Hall, Disney's Animal Kingdom
Southern White Rhinoceros
Southern White Rhinoceros © Hannah Tulloch, North Carolina Zoo
Black and White Ruff Lemur with Viceroy Butterfly
Black and White Ruffed Lemur with Viceroy Butterfly © Tori Keating, Rolling Hills Zoo
Greater One-Horned Rhinoceros
Greater One-Horned Rhinoceros © Jennifer D’Agostino, DVM, DACZM, Oklahoma City Zoo & Botanical Garden
Lined Seahorse
Lined Seahorse © Maria Johnson, Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center
Hyacinth Macaw
Hyacinth Macaw © Meghan Adams, National Aviary
Eyelash Palm Pit Viper
Eyelash Palm Pit Viper © Ron Bebus, San Diego Zoo
Nile Hippopotamus
Nile Hippopotamus © Ashley Briddell, Dallas Zoo
Amur Tiger
Amur Tiger © Jack Bradley, Connecticut’s Beardsley’s Zoo
Crocodile Lizard
Crocodile Lizard © Todd Stailey, Tennessee Aquarium
Snow Leopard
Snow Leopard © Wayne H. Smith, Seneca Park Zoo
Eastern Bongo
Eastern Bongo © Katherine Bank, Virginia Zoo
Mountain Lion
Mountain Lion © Rich Barrios, Dakota Zoo
Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra foal in the foreground and African Lion in the background
Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra and African Lion © Callie Wells, The Louisville Zoo
African Penguin swimming
African Penguin © Julie Larsen-Maher, Wildlife Conservation Society

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Do you have images to submit to the Connect Photo Contest? Staff and volunteers at AZA-accredited facilities are eligible to enter. Bookmark our contest page for next year's announcement and deadline. 

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