Shipwreck Panorama Wins Underwater Photographer of the Year 2018

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A panorama photograph of British World War II military vehicles deep inside a shipwreck in the Red Sea sees German photographer Tobias Friedrich named Underwater Photographer of the Year 2018. Friedrich’s photograph triumphed over 5000 underwater pictures entered by underwater photographers from all around the world.

©Tobias Friedrich/UPY2018

“Cycle War” was taken in Egypt and shows Norton 16H motorbikes loaded in Fordson WOT 3 trucks, with soldierfish schooling above. Friedrich explains: “I had had this image in mind for a few years, but it is impossible to capture in one photo, because there is not space inside the wreck to photograph this scene in a single frame. My solution was take a series of pictures and stitch them together as a panorama.

Chair of the judges, Peter Rowlands, added: “This is a quite extraordinary shot which must be viewed as large as possible. The artistic skill is to visualise such an image and the photographic talent is to achieve it. 

© Grant Thomas/UPY2018

The title of British Underwater Photographer of the Year 2018 goes to Grant Thomas from Glasgow, who now lives in New Zealand. His photo of swans called “Love Birds” was taken in Loch Lomond, Scotland. Thomas explains: “I have always been fascinated by over-under photography, connecting the everyday terrestrial world that we all know with the less familiar underwater secrets. The swans were searching for food beneath the surface, I just had to wait for that perfect moment of synchronicity.”

Competition judge Martin Edge commented that “the symmetry makes this image a stand out. 

© ManBd UiDive/UPY2018

The Underwater Photographer of the Year competition also aims to promote new photographic talent. Malaysian Man BD was named as Up & Coming Underwater Photographer of the Year 2018 for his image “Roar”, showing a pair of sea slugs with a gaping moray eel as a background, photographed in Indonesia. “When shooting these nudibranchs I was focusing on getting the shot,” explains Man, “When suddenly a moray eel appeared behind. It still took me about 30 minutes to get this shot.

Competition judge Martin Edge commented “Great photography to use the moray as a background, with its gleaming white teeth, adds so much drama.

© Tony Stephenson/UPY2018

The title of Most Promising British Underwater Photographer, 2018 goes to Tony Stephenson from the East Midlands in England. His image “How Many Pike?” reveals pike courtship in Stoney Cove, Leicestershire. Stephenson “I love photographing pike and on this dive during the Easter holidays, these males were looking for a mate,” commented Stephenson.

Competition judge, Alex Mustard commented that the image showed “fascinating behaviour from one of the UK’s top predators and a great advert for diving in freshwater in the UK.

 

Here are the other category winners from the 2018 competition: 

About Underwater Photographer of the Year

Underwater Photographer of the Year is an annual competition, based in the UK, that seeks to celebrate photography beneath the surface of the ocean, lakes and even swimming pools. British photographer Phil Smith was the first Underwater Photographer of the Year, named in 1965. Today’s competition has 11 categories, testing photographers with themes such as Macro, Wide Angle, Behaviour and Wreck photography, as well as three categories for photos taken specifically in British waters. This year’s judges were experienced underwater photographers Peter Rowlands, Martin Edge and Alex Mustard.

To see more of the amazing images from 2018 and to learn more about the Underwater Photographer of the Year competition, visit the website here.

Nick and Caroline Robertson-Brown

Nick and Caroline Robertson-Brown

Nick and Caroline Robertson-Brown are a husband and wife team of underwater photographers. Both have degrees in environmental biology from Manchester University, with Caroline also having a masters in animal behaviour. Nick is a fellow of the Royal Photographic Society in underwater wildlife photography and he also has a masters in teaching. They are passionate about marine conservation and hope that their images can inspire people to look after the world's seas and oceans. Their Manchester-based company, Frogfish Photography, offers a wide range of services and advice. They offer tuition with their own tailor made course - the Complete Underwater Photography Award. The modules of the course have been written to complement the corresponding chapters in Nick's own book: Underwater Photography Art and Techniques. They also offer equipment sales and underwater photography trips in the UK and abroad. For more information visit www.frogfishphotography.com.

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