You have to love these brilliant underwater photos from this year UPY London’s 2016 Underwater Photographer of the Year competition. The annual competition receives thousands of entries from the UK and around the world, and highlight some truly breathtaking images.
The top place went to Davide Lopresti from Italy for his image “Gold” of a spiny seahorse. Lopresti’s image beat out underwater photos from 54 different countries around the world to win the coveted title.
Here are 20 of the beautiful award-winning images that made the final cut.
Italian Davide Lopresti was awarded the grand prize and name Underwater Photographer of the year for his images “Gold”. Lopresti’s winning image is a portrait of a shimmering golden seahorse taken in Trieste, Italy.
Judge Martin Edge commented: The eye cannot escape the frame, it continues to rotate in circles. Complementary colors of blue and yellow are entirely responsible for the ‘wow factor’ which this image had on me when I first viewed it.
Lopresti wanted to photograph seahorses in the Mediterranea to celebrate their return to areas protected from destructive fisheries, such as trawling. “It is simply beautiful and creative, a very worthy overall winner,” commented chair of the judging panel, underwater photographer and marine biologist Dr Alexander Mustard.
The prize-winning photo uses a long exposure technique and camera panning to add blur to the portrait. Lopreti uses a strobe to ‘freeze’ the seahorse in the frame. “My aim was to give the scene a sense of grace and strength simultaneously,” he says.
Underwater Photographer of the Year, 2016 is the top award of the UPY Festival, and will go to the photographer whose single image is the best in the show.
There are nine categories including Underwater Photographer of the Year, Wide Angle, Macro, Wrecks, Behavior, Three British Water categories (Wide Angle, Compact and Macro) and their newest catagory Up & Coming.
Tell us what you think in the comments below. Which is your favorite photo from this years competition, and where are you planing your next dive trip?