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Underwater Photographer Of The Year 2020 Unveiled

An image of antarctic crab eater seals has won French photographer Greg Lecoeur the underwater photographer of the year 2020 title.

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Greg Lacoeur

© Greg Lacoeur/UPY2020

An image of Antarctic crab eater seals has been awarded the Underwater Photographer of the Year 2020 accolade. The image was taken by French photographer Greg Lacoeur, and was chosen from over 5500 entries. A free 180-page Yearbook is available to download

To shoot 'Frozen Mobile Home' Lecouer travelled to Antarctica on a small yacht, enabling him to document the wildlife on icebergs as they drift at the whim of polar currents. "Massive and mysterious habitats," explains Lecoeur: 

"Little is known about how wildlife thrives around these mobile homes. Icebergs fertilize the oceans by carrying nutrients from land that spark blooms of marine life and also provide homes for larger animals, like these crabeater seals." Lecoeur lives in Nice, France, but works full time as a photographer, travelling the world documenting life in the oceans.

 

Pasquale Vassallo

© Pasquale Vassallo/UPY2020

 

Other photographers honoured this year include 'Marine Conservation Photographer of the Year 2020' winner Pasquale Vassallo, from Italy. His image 'Last gasp' shows the last moments of a tuna's life as it is hauled from the depths. "This winter I accompanied some local fishermen," explains Vassallo. "Diving at dawn, I followed the nets as they were hauled up from the depths, revealing a conveyor belt of dead and dying wildlife, such as this little tunny tuna gasping for life."

 

Anita Kainrath

© Anita Kainrath/UPY2020

 

Anita Kainrath, from Austria, was named as Up & Coming Underwater Photographer of the Year 2020 for an uplifting picture of baby lemon sharks thriving in a mangrove in the Bahamas. Her image 'Shark Nursery' is not only beautiful, but it shows how important mangroves are, not just for protecting tropical coastlines, but also in the lives of endangered species. Kainrath, from Vienna, explains the challenges in producing the image "I was standing in knee-high water, trying to hold my camera still, waiting for the sharks, while mosquitoes and sand-flies were feasting on me! After about an hour the lemon shark pups finally came into photographic range and I was able to make this image."

 

Nick More

© Nick More/UPY2020

 

The Underwater Photographer of the Year contest is based in the UK, and makes two awards specifically to British photographers. Nick More, from Devon (England) was named as British Underwater Photographer of the Year 2020 for his pop-art style photograph 'Rabbitfish Zoom Blur' taken in Indonesia. "I created this effect in camera," explains More, "by zooming my lens at the same time as I hit the shutter. My flash has frozen the central fish while the ambient light is blurred by the zooming."

 

Nur Tucker

© Nur Tucker/UPY2020

 

The title of Most Promising British Underwater Photographer, 2020 goes to Nur Tucker from Wimbledon, London (England) for an artistic panning photo of a seahorse. Her creative image 'Commotion in the Ocean' uses an in-camera double exposure to create a feeling of waves surrounding this seahorse. Tucker explains "I love experimenting and I have tried many different techniques, with varying degrees of success! After many attempts, everything came together with this shot."

Check out 2019's winners of the UPY here.

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