The Winning Photos of Underwater Photographer of the Year 2016


The winning photos have just been announced for the Underwater Photographer of the Year 2016 contest. The grand prize was awarded to Italian photographer Davide Lopresti for his image “Gold,” a portrait of a spiny seahorse.

“Over the years the Mediterranean’s population of seahorses has drastically reduced,” writes Lopresti. “Their numbers have only recovered thanks to public awareness and a significant restocking campaign.”

“Areas of the sea have now been set aside, protected from harmful fishing methods, like trawling. This has allowed vulnerable and delicate creatures, like sea horses, to return. This is what I hoped to celebrate with this image.”

For his prize-winning shot, he used a long exposure and camera panning to add some blur to the portrait. The seahorse was frozen with a beam of light from his strobe. “My aim was to give the scene a sense of grace and strength simultaneously,” he says.

Entries were received from 54 different countries around the world this year. Here are some of the other photos that were honored:

British Underwater Photographer of the Year (Winner)

"Catshark Supernova." Dan Bolt/UPY 2016
“Catshark Supernova.” Dan Bolt/UPY 2016

International Wide Angle (Winner)

"Underwater fisherman." Mike Korostelev/UPY 2016
“Underwater fisherman.” Mike Korostelev/UPY 2016

Wide Angle (Highly Commended)

"Beach Guardians". Alejandro Prieto/UPA 2016
“Beach Guardians”. Alejandro Prieto/UPY 2016

Wide Angle (Highly Commended)

"Pilot Whales." Greg Lecoeur/UPY 2016
“Pilot Whales.” Greg Lecoeur/UPY 2016

Wide Angle (Commended)

"Icebreaker." Tobias Friedrich/UPY 2016
“Icebreaker.” Tobias Friedrich/UPY 2016

International Wrecks (Winner)

"A Family Affair." Thomas Heckmann/UPY 2016
“A Family Affair.” Thomas Heckmann/UPY 2016

Wrecks (Highly Commended)

"USS Kittiwake and Diver." Christian Vizl/UPY 2016
“USS Kittiwake and Diver.” Christian Vizl/UPY 2016

Wrecks (Commended)

"USS Kittiwake Shipwreck." Susannah H. Snowden-Smith/UPY 2016
“USS Kittiwake Shipwreck.” Susannah H. Snowden-Smith/UPY 2016

International Behaviour (Winner)

"Turtle Eating Jellyfish." Richard Carey/UPY 2016
“Turtle Eating Jellyfish.” Richard Carey/UPY 2016

International Behaviour (2nd Place)

"What Feeds Beneath." Alejandro Prieto/UPY 2016
“What Feeds Beneath.” Alejandro Prieto/UPY 2016

International Behaviour (3rd Place)

"Millions of Crabs." Rui Guerra/UPY 2016
“Millions of Crabs.” Rui Guerra/UPY 2016

Behavior (Commended)

"Battle at the Nine." Ralph Pace/UPY 2016
“Battle at the Nine.” Ralph Pace/UPY 2016

Up & Coming (Highly Commended)

"Bass." Oliver Anlauf/UPY 2016
“Bass.” Oliver Anlauf/UPY 2016

British Waters Macro (Commended)

"Friend or Foe?" Dan Bolt/UPY 2016
“Friend or Foe?” Dan Bolt/UPY 2016

You can find a complete gallery of winning photos from this year’s contest on the UPY website.