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Underwater Photographer of the Year 2018


A panoramic photograph of British world war 2 military vehicles deep inside a shipwreck sees German photographer Tobias Friedrich named as Underwater Photographer of the Year 2018.

Friedrich's photograph, taken off the coast of Ras Mohamed in Egypt, triumphed over 5,000 underwater footage entered by photographers from across the planet.


'Cycle War' was taken in Egypt and shows Norton 16H motorbikes loaded in the SS Thistlegorm, with soldierfish schooling above.

"I've had this image in mind for some years, however, it's impossible to capture in one picture, as a result of there's no space inside the wreck to photograph this scene in a single frame," explains Friedrich. "My solution was take a series of images and stitch them together as a panorama."

Chair of the judges, Peter Rowlands, added: "This is a quite extraordinary shot that should be viewed as large as possible. The creative talent is in visualizing such a picture, and the photographic talent is in achieving it."

Grant Thomas won the title of British Underwater Photographer of the Year. His image of swans, titled 'Love Birds', was taken in Scotland's Loch Lomond.

Waiting in the waters of the lake, Thomas's patience paid off. "The swans were looking for food. I simply had to wait for that excellent moment of synchroneity.”

GRANT THOMAS/UPY 2018

The competition had eleven categories, testing photographers with themes like Macro, Wide Angle, Behaviour and Wreck Photography, as well as 3 categories for photos taken in British waters.
TONY STEPHENSON/UPY 2018Image captionLeicester-based Tony Stephenson managed to find these pike in the quarry at Stoney Cove, a popular scuba diving site.

MANBD UIDIVE/UPY 2018Image captionAbdul Rahman Jamaluddin's image of sea slugs features a surprising backdrop of a moray eel, which swam into the reef as he was taking his image.


GREG LECOEUR/UPY 2018Image captionWhen a whale is spyhopping, it emerges from the water vertically, pausing in its position. Greg Lecoeur captured this humpback as it moved its pectoral fin towards the camera.


SHANE GROSS/UPY 2018Image captionShane Gross's photograph was taken in a pond with a very high density of seahorses, yet he was still amazed that he managed to capture these three together, backlit and surrounded by plankton.

Image copyrightFAN PING/UPY 2018Image captionShark behaviorist Cristina Zenato has been studying Caribbean reef sharks near Freeport in The Bahamas for more than 24 years. The unique bond between her and the sharks allows her to get close to them, enabling this impressive image by Fan Ping.


SONGDA CAI/UPY 2018Image captionAlthough Songda Cai has had many encounters with eels, this is her favorite image of the creature, looking at her camera from inside its coiled body.
FILIPPO BORGHI/UPY 2018Image captionIt took two days of standing in shallow waters from 05:00 to 08:00 for Filippo Borghi to get this image of a cormorant diving for fish in the Izu Peninsula, Tokyo.

Image copyright Scott GUTSY TUASON/UPY 2018Image captionA fish had managed to wedge itself between the bell and the tentacles of a jellyfish, and the two were moving along together. This strange combination turned towards Scott Gutsy Tuason after he had taken 20 photos, and he was able to get this fantastic shot.


Image copyrightTANYA HOUPPERMANS/UPY 2018Image captionTanya Houppermans swam on her back underneath this sand tiger shark, trying not to startle it as millions of tiny fish swam around it. As she moved with the shark through the water, the fish parted and the underside of the shark was revealed.


SIMONE MATUCCI/UPY 2018Image caption these humpback whales were swimming by the Ha Ľapai islands of Tonga when Simone Martucci and his wife were diving. "It was the wildest and incredible thing I have probably witnessed in my entire life," he says.

Image copyrightMIKE KOROSTELEV/UPY 2018Image captionKurile Lake in Russia has a very high concentration of bears, which is why Mike Korostelev placed his remote camera in its shallow waters. He captured this bear extremely close up, hunting for salmon.


BORUT FURLAN/UPY 2018Image captionBorut Furlan shot seawater crocodiles in Cuba in the low evening sunlight, capturing their reflections in the still waters of the surface.

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