Underwater Photographer of the Year has just announced the winners of its 2019 photo contest. Photographer Richard Barnden of the UK won both Underwater Photographer of the Year 2019 and British Underwater Photographer of the Year 2019 for his photo titled “The Gauntlet” (shown above).
Here’s the description of Barnden’s winning shot:
As the sun sets on Fakarava South Pass, the estimated 700 sharks that are patrolling the mouth of the channel by day, begins to hunt at night. The gauntlet is about to unfold. Descending into the darkness I can feel my heart beating a little faster than normal as hundreds of sharks are now covering the bottom. This unlucky parrotfish dodged in and out of the patch coral heads looking for somewhere to hide as swarms of sharks followed in hot pursuit. One grey reef shark suddenly grabbed the parrotfish by its head as the another twisted underneath it to get a better grip. In desperation it hurtled straight towards me as I snapped a few passing shots and curled up into a ball as the frenzy of sharks shot past, leaving only but a few falling parrotfish scales behind.
Here are the other winning (and a couple of runner-up) photos from the major categories:
You can find a larger gallery of 125 winning photos over on the contest’s website.
Image credits: Header photo © Richard Barnden/UPY2019