Breath-taking images of 'amazing ocean spectacles'. Check out winners of Underwater Photographer of the Year

Updated: Feb 18, 2022, 03:26 PM(IST)

Check out the amazing ocean spectacles and species the winners of the Underwater Photographer of the Year, 2022 have captured.

Underwater Photographer of the Year 2022

'Dancing with the giants of the night' by Rafael Fernandez Caballero (Spain)

"In the ocean magic can always happen. But when magic happens all together, you only can think you’re dreaming. This was the case of that night in Maldives" says the photographer.

This picture titled 'Dancing with the giants of the night' came first out of 4,200 images from 71 countries, making Rafael Fernandez Caballero, the man behind it Underwater Photographer of the Year 2022

"This image took my breath away from the first viewing and I never tired coming back to it. Scale, light and the sheer numbers of big subjects, it was quite obvious from an early stage that this was, by some distance, our winning image" said Peter Rowlands, one of the judges.

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Up and coming Underwater Photographer of the Year 2022

'Supernova in paradise' by Quico Abadal

"I first met Jeniya having breakfast at one of my favourite food spots in Koh Tao, Thailand...She was wearing a stunning long white dress and we planned to shoot mostly split shots with the sunset, using strobes to illuminate the underwater scene."

"It was a pretty challenging shot, since I didn't have any fins or wetsuit."

"What I like about this photograph is the imperfection of backscatter, recreating space and making it perfect to me." says Abadal.

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British Underwater Photographer of the Year 2022

'A 3.5m great white curiously approaches my lens' by Matty Smith

"I had wanted to shoot a charismatic over/under portrait of a great white shark for a couple of years. Some techniques I had previously tried failed terribly, so this time I designed and constructed my own carbon pole and remote trigger." 

"Surprisingly the sharks were instantly attracted to the camera with no extra bait needed, in fact it was a battle to stop them biting the dome port! We had wonderfully calm seas and nice evening side lighting for this naturally lit image."

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Most Promising British Underwater Photographer of the Year 2022

'Diamonds and Rust' by Paul Pettitt

"This picture was taken on a bright afternoon when I knew the sun would be on the west side of the Pier. The Sea Gooseberries had been around for a while and on this particular day the water was like glass. I floated in the spot I wanted and waited for them to slowly drift by. The background colours represent the rust and weed growth on a metal cross beam" says the photographer.

 Peter Rowlands a judge commented: "Images like this leap out despite being subtle. The colours are celebratory and the subject perfectly placed to produce a stand out image in this category.

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My Backyard Award 2022

'All You Need Is Love' by Pekka Tuuri

Talking about how he managed to click this photograph, Tuuri said: "All you need is love! This love pond is in my backyard, a 20 minute drive from home. It is full of love in late April. The common frogs come first, then toads and finally newts. I spent four days and four night time sessions in it in 2021. I wore a drysuit with argon, lots of undergarments and a heated vest to survive in the five degree water. I floated and stayed put among the frogs and quite soon they accepted me and my camera as a part of the scenery. The frogs climb on top of my camera, make grunting sounds in my ears and squeeze between my face and the backplate of the camera. The active spawning time lasts about two days and nights. What an experience with lots of photo ops!"

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‘Save Our Seas Foundation’ Marine Conservation Photographer of the Year 2022

'Season of anchovy fishery' by Thien Nguyen Ngoc

This aerial photo shows busy anchovy fishing activities off the coastal waters of Hon Yen, Phu Yen province, Vietnam during peak season, where many local fisherman families follow the near-shore currents to catch the fish. 

To make traditional Vietnamese fish sauce, salted anchovies are the most important raw ingredient, but anchovies are a small fish with a big impact. 

When they are overfished, the whales, tunas, sea birds... and other marine predators that rely on them as a dietary staple face starvation and population decline critically. 

Vietnam is also facing this anchovy overfishing problem. According to the Institute of Seafood Research, anchovy stocks and catches have declined by 20-30% in the past ten years.

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