The winners of the Underwater Photographer of the Year (UPY) Competition 2018 have been announced in Britain. Out of 5000 entries from around the world, a panorama photograph of British World War II military vehicles deep inside a Red Sea shipwreck enabled German photographer Tobias Friedrich to be named 2018’s Underwater Photographer of the Year.


“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 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 pictures and stitch them together as a panorama.”


British UW Photographer of the Year

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.”


Up & Comer

The Underwater Photographer of the Year competition also aims to promote new photographic talent. Malaysian Abdul Rahman Jamaludin 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.”


Most Promising British Photographer

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.


About Underwater Photographer of the Year

UPY 2018 Tanya HoupermansUnderwater 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. For all the 2018 winning images, all the back-stories, all the judge’s comments, all together in one stunning publication download The Underwater Photographer of the Year Yearbook.  See selections with captions here. For more visit YUP.


By Laurie Wilson, Blue Ocean Network


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