15 Stunning Shots of The Winners of the 2021 Underwater Photographer of The Year Competition
61st Place in ‘Up & Coming’, Most Promising British Underwater Photographer- ‘Trying In’ by SJ Alice Bennett (Mexico)
“As this shot was taken during cave training, we had a pretty intricate plan in place, which is not usually how I run cave shoots. However, the plan failed miserably as the cave student, Max, had multiple equipment failures. Plans are important, but when they fail you need to adapt quickly and deal with a new situation”, Alice said.
She continued- “After fixing all the issues on the surface and changing our plan to accommodate our now fairly depleted gas supplies, we descended again. I swam ahead and waited just beyond the beginning of the permanent mainline watching the team swim towards me, followed closely by the lighting assistants creating those beautiful halo effects. Suddenly everything just lined up perfectly, so I pressed the shutter just as Max turned to tie into the mainline.”
71st Place in ‘Macro’- ‘Pontohi Pigmy Seahorse’ by Galice Hoarau (Norway)
Hippocampus pontohi which is the pontohi pygmy seahorse is one of the smallest seahorses which have been recently discovered. They normally inhabit the reef walls which make them quite hard to find. Galice who managed to capture the sight of this rare underwater dweller in the waters of Siladen Indonesia was lucky to have spotted it hanging out from the reef wall. In fact, he had found two during his morning dive after which he decided to spend the afternoon trying to get a backlit photo.
82nd Place in ‘Macro’- ‘Larval Lionfish’ by Steven Kovacs (United States)
Steven Kovacs was drifting near the surface in Palm Beach at night in over 700 feet of water when he came across a 1 inch larval Lionfish off the coast of Florida during a blackwater dive. The lionfish in the Atlantic Ocean are an invasive species and its common to spot its pelagic larvae during dives. This particular individual was exhibiting more beautiful coloration than usual which prompted Steven to capture its beauty in full display.
91st Place in ‘British Waters Macro’- ‘Portrait of A Variable Blenny’ by Malcolm Nimmo (United Kingdom)
The variable blenny may be native to the southerly waters of the Mediterranean Sea but it was caught on camera in the UK coastal waters. This species usually appears in a variety of different colors and forms. The blenny in this particular image is a male that was standing magnificently on a reef ledge in Plymouth Sound, United Kingdom.
101st Place in ‘Wrecks’- ‘Bowlander’ by Tobias Friedrich (Germany)
Tobias Friedrich who won the 1st place for his picture titled ‘Bowlander’ in the category- ‘Wrecks’ of the 2021 Underwater Photographer of The Year Competition had taken the shot in Nassau, Bahamas. It wasn’t his original destination, but due to bad weather at Tiger Beach and in Bimini which forced him and his team to take shelter near Nassau, he decided to do some regular dives there. While the dive was completely new to him, he came across a big surprise when he along with the other members descended.