Underwater Photographer

Winner Overall Title Winner. Category 2: International Macro. Davide Lopresti/UPY 2016. “Over the years the Mediterranean’s population of seahorses has drastically reduced. 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.”

Winner. Category 1: International wide angle Mike Korostelev/UPY 2016.

“Cages are more commonly associated with photographing great white sharks, but I constructed a cage to keep me safe as I captured the fishing behavior of the bear. I waited many hours in the cold water for the bear to come close enough to make my photo. The bear’s strategy is to start by sitting down, putting his head under the water and looking for fish. Once the fish start to ignore him, he creeps closer before making his crucial lunge to snare a large salmon in his paws, or teeth. He would usually stay underwater for about 20 seconds.”

Winner Category 3: International wrecks Thomas Heckmann/UPY 2016

“I was unable to descend because I had to take care of Maja, my five year old daughter who is unable to snorkel by herself. So my only possibility was a shot from the surface. It was too rough for a normal over/under shot. I decided to try a wave & wreck shot with the island of Curacao in the background. All taken while swimming together with my daughter. I needed several tries to compose the wreck, the wave and the island in one shot. But at the end I got this real over/under shot with a total other view of the famous wreck.”

Winner Category 4: International Behaviour Richard Carey/UPY 2016

“A Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas) surfaced near our boat. I decided to get in and snorkel with it, watching it as it searched for food. Soon it spotted a large Mosaic Jellyfish (Thysanostoma thysanura) swimming a couple of meters below the surface. It swam over to the jellyfish, dived down and started feeding on it.”

Winner Category 5: Up & Coming Worldwide Pier Mane/UPY 2016

“Weary of shooting sharks head-on, and keen to avoid diver’s bubbles in my shot, I decided to turn away from the peak action and the crowds it attracts. I wanted sun rays, dramatic foreground, background perspective, and – the cherry on top – to capture the ‘master of the house’ in all of its mystique.”

By: sfgate.com