Winners show amazing ocean spectacles and species and capture vistas from flooded mines to deep shipwrecks
The Underwater Photographer of the Year (UPY) competition recently announced their 2022 winners and, as usual, there were some unbelievable photos capturing the top awards. One of the world’s most prestigious underwater photography contests, UPY was begun nearly a decade ago, but this year was special, organizers said, because of the recent disruptions from the global pandemic.
“Restriction on travel over the last year may have stopped many photographers visiting their favorite waters, but it hasn’t stifled their creativity as you can see from the stunning photos [in this competition],” Alex Mustard, UPY’s 2022 chair said.
“UPY aims to celebrate underwater photography in all its forms, and we are delighted that this year’s awarded images represent many genres and are produced by photographers from around the world. The winners reveal amazing ocean spectacles and species, and capture vistas from flooded mines to deep shipwrecks, while many more come from home countries, and some are even taken in swimming pools. But what unites them all, is that they are all photographs that are worth our time to dive into and explore.”
Featured at the top of this page is an image from the overall winner, Rafael Fernandez Caballero of Spain, called “Dancing with the giants of the night.”
“In the ocean magic can always happen,” Caballero said about his winning photo. “But when magic happens all together, you only can think you’re dreaming. This was the case of that night in Maldives. At the beginning of the night one whale shark came to the light of our boat BlueForce One, we jumped in the water and then another whale shark came. We were so happy when, a couple of hours later, out of the blue, madness happened, and whale sharks started to come in big numbers. I was together with Gador Muntaner, a shark researcher, who couldn’t believe what we were seeing. We counted at the same time 11 whale sharks surrounding us. It was a unique moment that no one there had thought it could even be possible.”
Check out more of the winners, runners-up, and highly commended photos from the Underwater Photographer of the Year 2022 competition below. See all the winners here. On a slightly different note, here are 17 hilarious winners of last year’s Comedy Pet Photo Awards.
British Underwater Photographer of the Year 2022: Matty Smith (Australia)