A heartbreaking tale of loss behind a snap of two penguins snuggling up while viewing the Melbourne skyline won an international prize.

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A snap of two penguins embracing while admiring the Melbourne cityscape won an international prize after the photographer told the terrible narrative of loss.

The Ocean Photography Awards chose the shot of the lovers hugging on a rock while watching the city lights.

Tobias Baumgaertner’s stunning snapshot beat out photos of big polar bears climbing a snowy terrain, fish swimming through reefs, and a diver diving into an undersea tunnel.

Baumgaertner said the widower penguins spent hours consoling each other.

‘A volunteer approached me and informed me that the white one was an older woman who had lost her spouse and allegedly so did the younger guy on the left,’ he posted on Instagram.

Since then, they console one other and stand for hours admiring the city’s swirling lights.

He spent three nights with a penguin colony to acquire the right photo.

After not being permitted to use lighting and the small penguins constantly moving, rubbing their flippers on each other’s backs, and cleaning each other, he stated it was challenging to capture a photo.
I was fortunate in one amazing moment. Those who can be with their loved ones at these moments are very blessed.

The competition also shows our seas’ dark side.

Marine wildlife is suffering more than ever from plastic waste.

Sharks choked by trash and hermit crabs in cans and coffee cups are shown in shocking photographs.

The prizes include ‘devastating photos exposing the ravages of plastic pollution on the ocean and its inhabitants to the inspirational views of animals prospering in their natural surroundings’.