Results of UPY 2018 announced

Underwater Photographer of the Year 2018 Tobias Friedrich (Germany)

The 2018 Underwater Photographer of the Year contest (UPY) has announced its results. Tobias Friedrich from Germany won the overall title with an amazing stitched image from the hold of SS Thistlegorm in the Red Sea. Congratulations to all the others among the placings and especially to all the members of the Wetpixel community.

Press release


A panorama photograph of British World War II military vehicles deep inside a shipwreck in the Red Sea sees German photographer Tobias Friedrich named Underwater Photographer of the Year 2018. Friedrich’s photograph triumphed over 5000 underwater pictures entered by underwater photographers from all around the world. “Cycle War” was taken in Egypt and shows Norton 16H motorbikes loaded in Fordson WOT 3 trucks, with soldierfish schooling above. Friedrich explains “I had had this image in mind for a few years, but it is impossible to capture in one photo, because there is not space inside the wreck to photograph this scene in a single frame. My solution was take a series pictures and stitch them together as a panorama.”

Chair of the judges, Peter Rowlands, added “this is a quite extraordinary shot which must be viewed as large as possible. The artistic skill is to visualise such an image and the photographic talent is to achieve it.”

The title of British Underwater Photographer of the Year 2018 goes to Grant Thomas from Glasgow, who now lives in New Zealand. His photo of swans called “Love Birds” was taken in Loch Lomond, Scotland. Thomas explains “I have always been fascinated by over-under photography, connecting the everyday terrestrial world that we all know with the less familiar underwater secrets. The swans were searching for food beneath the surface, I just had to wait for that perfect moment of synchronicity.”

Competition judge Martin Edge commented “the symmetry makes this image a stand out.”

The Underwater Photographer of the Year competition also aims to promote new photographic talent. Malaysian Man BD was named as Up & Coming Underwater Photographer of the Year 2018 for his image “Roar”, showing a pair of sea slugs with a gaping moray eel as a background, photographed in Indonesia. “When shooting these nudibranchs I was focusing on getting the shot,” explains Man, “when suddenly a moray eel appeared behind. It still took me about 30 minutes to get this shot.”

Competition judge Martin Edge commented “Great photography to use the moray as a background, with its gleaming white teeth, adds so much drama.”

The title of Most Promising British Underwater Photographer, 2018 goes to Tony Stephenson from the East Midlands in England. His image “How Many Pike?” reveals pike courtship in Stoney Cove, Leicestershire. Stephenson “I love photographing pike and on this dive during the Easter holidays, these males were looking for a mate,” commented Stephenson.

Competition judge, Alex Mustard commented “fascinating behaviour from one of the UK’s top predators and a great advert for diving in freshwater in the UK.”

About Underwater Photographer of the Year

Underwater Photographer of the Year is an annual competition, based in the UK, that seeks to celebrate photography beneath the surface of the ocean, lakes and even swimming pools. British photographer Phil Smith was the first underwater Photographer of the Year, named in 1965. Today’s competition has 11 categories, testing photographers with themes such as Macro, Wide Angle, Behaviour and Wreck photography, as well as three categories for photos taken specifically in British waters. This year’s judges were experienced underwater photographers Peter Rowlands, Martin Edge and Alex Mustard.

UPY 2018 Full Results

British Underwater Photographer of the Year 2018 Grant Thomas (UK)

Up and Coming Underwater Photographer of the Year 2017 Man BD (Malaysia)

Most Promising British Underwater Photographer, 2018 Tony Stephenson (UK)

1) Wide Angle

Winner Greg Lecoeur (France)
Runner Up Fan Ping (China)
Third Brook Peterson (United States)
Highly Commended Tobias Friedrich (Germany), Konstantin Killer (Germany), Herbert Meyrl (Germany), Pekka Tuuri (Finland)
Commended Renee Capozzola (United States), Tom St George (Mexico), Wendy Timmermans (Netherlands)

2) Macro

Winner Shane Gross (Canada)
Runner Up Songda Cai (China)
Third Kenji Cheow (Malaysia)
Highly Commended Davide Lopresti (Italy), Tianhong Wang (China), Yung Sen Wu (Taiwan, Province of China), Giacomo Marchione (Italy)
Commended Yatwai So (Hong Kong), Yung Sen Wu (Taiwan, Province of China), Jinggong Zhang (China)

3) Wrecks

Winner Tobias Friedrich (Germany)
Runner Up Gianni Pecchiar (Italy)
Third Tobias Friedrich (Germany)
Highly Commended Pekka Tuuri x 3 (Finland), Susannah H. Snowden-Smith (Cayman Islands)
Commended Marcus Blatchford (United Kingdom), Kieran Hatton (United Kingdom), Anders Nyberg (Sweden)

4) Behaviour

Winner Filippo Borghi (Italy)
Runner Up Scott Tuason (Philippines)
Third Greg Lecoeur (France)
Highly Commended Shane Gross (Canada), Filippo Borghi (Italy), Christopher Burville (Bermuda), Renee Capozzola (United States)
Commended Anders Nyberg (Sweden), Adriano Morettin (Italy), Mika Saareila (Finland)

5) Portrait

Winner Tanya Houppermans (United States)
Runner Up Mike Korostelev (Russian Federation)
Third Rodney Bursiel (United States)
Highly Commended Matt Curnock (Australia), Nicholas More (United Kingdom), Robert Marc Lehmann (Germany), Greg Lecoeur (France)
Commended André Musgrove (Bahamas), Greg Lecoeur (France), Davide Lopresti (Italy)

6) Black & White

Winner Borut Furlan (Slovenia)
Runner Up Sylvie Ayer (Switzerland)
Third Santosh Shanmuga (United States)
Highly Commended Herbert Meyrl (Germany), Miguel Pereira (Portugal), Rodney Bursiel (United States), Filippo Borghi (Italy)
Commended Anders Nyberg (Sweden), Wendy Timmermans (Netherlands), Sylvie Ayer (Switzerland)

7) Compact

Winner Simone Matucci (New Zealand)
Runner Up Jack Berthomier (New Caledonia)
Third Ipah Uid (Malaysia)
Highly Commended Jack Berthomier (New Caledonia), Stephen Holinski x 2(Canada) Ipah Uid (Malaysia) Commended Sarah Vasend (United States), Stefano Cerbai (Italy), Ali Shujau (Maldives)

8) Up & Coming

Winner Man BD (Malaysia)
Runner Up Jacob Degee (Poland)
Third Austin Ferguson (United States)
Highly Commended Sylvie Ayer (Switzerland), Hannah Nies (Germany), Brian Eckstein (United States), Giacomo Marchione (Italy)
Commended Rupert Cornelius (Mozambique), Romain Barats (France), Clarissa Ace (Indonesia)

9) British Waters Wide Angle

Winner Grant Thomas (United Kingdom)
Runner Up Nicholas More (United Kingdom)
Third Greg Lecoeur (France)
Highly Commended Spencer Burrows (United Kingdom), Richard Shucksmith (United Kingdom), Tony Stephenson (United Kingdom), Paul Kay (United Kingdom)
Commended Marcus Blatchford (United Kingdom), Will Clark (United Kingdom), Trevor Rees (United Kingdom)

10) British Waters Macro

Winner Henley Spiers (United Kingdom)
Runner Up Cathy Lewis (United Kingdom)
Third Kirsty Andrews (United Kingdom)
Highly Commended Lucy Kay (United Kingdom), Trevor Rees (United Kingdom), Paul Kay (United Kingdom), Rick Ayrton (United Kingdom)
Commended Cathy Lewis x 2 (United Kingdom), Trevor Rees (United Kingdom)

11) British Waters Compact

Winner Vicky Paynter (United Kingdom)
Runner Up Ian Wade (United Kingdom)
Third James Lynott (United Kingdom)
Highly Commended Martin Edser (United Kingdom), Guy Mitchell x 2 (United Kingdom) Paula Bailey (United Kingdom)
Commended Martin Edser (United Kingdom), Guy Mitchell (United Kingdom), Mark Launchbury (United Kingdom)