Underwater Photographer of the Year 2018 winners announced

Amateur Photographer

Panoramic image of shipwreck in the Red Sea takes home first prize – see a gallery of the winners here

An image taken by German photographer Tobias Friedrich has been named Underwater Photographer of the Year 2018.

The image, a panorama photograph of British World War II military vehicles deep inside a shipwreck in the Red Sea was selected from more than 5,000 entries into the competition from photographers around the world.

“Cycle War” was taken in Egypt and depicts Norton 16H motorbikes loaded in Fordson WOT 3 trucks, with soldierfish schooling above. Friedrich said of the winning shot, “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 to take a series of pictures and stitch them together as a panorama.”

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The competition judging panel is chaired by Peter Rowlands, who said, “this is quite an extraordinary shot which must be viewed as large as possible. The artistic skill is to visualise such as image and the photographic talent is to achieve it.”

More categories

Additionally, British Underwater Photographer of the Year 2018 goes to to Grant Thomas from Glasgow (now living in New Zealand). Taken in Loch Lomond, Scotland, and depicting swans, his photograph is titled “Love Birds”.

Another category in the competition is Up and Coming Underwater Photographer of the Year 2018, awarded to Malaysian photographer Man BD for his image “Roar”. It shows a pair of sea slugs with a gaping moral eel as a background, photographed in Indonesia.

The title of Most Promising British Underwater Photographer 2018 went to Tony Stephenson from the East Midlands for his shot “How Many Pike?”, revealing pike courtship in Stoney Cove, Leicestershire.

Underwater Photographer of the Year is an annual competition based in the UK which seeks to celebrate photography beneath the surface of the ocean, lakes and even swimming pools. It has been running since 1965 and now encompasses 11 different categories to include themes such as Macro, Wide Angle, Behaviour and Wreck photography, as well as three categories specifically for photographs taken in British waters.

This year the judging panel consisted of experienced underwater photographers Peter Rowlands, Martin Edge and Alex Mustard.

See below for a gallery of the main winners, including category winners. You can see more photographs from the competition at the Underwater Photographer of the Year website. Alternatively, you can also download a free Yearbook to look at the photos.

Winner, Underwater Photographer of the Year (and Wrecks Category) © Tobias Friedrich / UPY 2018. Panoramic view of the cargo deck inside the SS Thistlegorm with the motorcycles in the middle and light to lighten the trucks on the side of the cargo deck, near Sharm el Sheikh, Northern Red Sea, Egypt. Amateur Photographer
British Underwater Photographer of the Year, and British Waters Wide Angle category. © Grant Thomas / UPY 2018. Love Birds, taken at Luss Pier, Loch Lomond, Scotland with a Canon 5D Mark III and Tokina 10-17mm lens and Ikelite housing. Amateur Photographer
Winner, Up and Coming category, © ManBd UiDive/UPY 2018. Roar, taken at Yos Dive Lembeh House Reef in Indonesia with an Olympus Tough TG-4 and Olympus PT-056 housing. Amateur Photographer
Most Promising British Underwater Photographer © Tony Stephenson / UPY 2018. "How many pike?" taken at Stoney Cove, Leicestershire with an Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II and Lumix G 8mm Fisheye lens with a Nauticam NA-EM10 Mark II housing. Amateur Photographer
Winner, Macro category © Shane Gross / UPY2018. Seahorse Density, taken in the Bahamas with a Nikon D500 and Nikkor 60mm Macro, with an Aquatica AD500 housing. Amateur Photographer
Winner, Behaviour category © Filippo Borghi / UPY 2018. The Fisherman, taken in Japan with a Nikon D800E and Subal Housing. Amateur Photographer
Winner, Portrait category © Tanya Houppermans / UPY 2018. A sand tiger shark surrounded by tiny bait fish, taken at the Wreck of Caribsea, North Carolina, USA with an Olympus OM-D E-M1 and M.Zuiko 8mm f/1.8 fisheye, with a Nauticam NA-EM1 housing. Amateur Photographer
Winner, Black and White category © Borut Furlan / UPY 2018. Crocodile Reflections, taken at the Jadines de la Reina in Cuba with a Nikon D800 and Nikonos RS 13mm f/2.8 lens and Seacam housing. Amateur Photographer
Winner, compact category © Simone Matucci / UPY 2018. Dancing with the Giants, taken at Ha'apai, Kingdom of Tongo with a Sony RX100 Mark IV and Aquapazza housing. Amateur Photographer
Winner, British Waters Macro category. © Henley Spiers / UPY 2018. Battle of the Tompots, taken at Swanage Pier, Dorset with a Nikon D7200 and Nauticam NA D7200 housing. Amateur Photographer
Winner, British Waters Compact category © Vicky Paynter / UPY 2018. This image was taken with a Canon PowerShot S110 (with housing) at The Farne Islands, United Kingdom. Amateur Photographer
Winner, Wide Angle category © Greg Lecoeur/UPY 2018. Humpback whale spy hopping, taken in Tonga using a Nikon D7200 and Tokina 10-17mm lens, with a Nautiam NA D7200 housing. Amateur Photographer