A whopping 71% of the Earth is covered in water. The Underwater Photography Competition is held in dedication to celebrate this 71% of Earth’s natural splendor. Be its oceans, lakes, rivers, or any other water bodies, this competition celebrates everything underwater, and its winners for the year 2021 were announced recently.
The competition took place under 14 photographic categories. The competition selects first, second, and third places and a number of honorable mentions under each category. Check out 20 of the most mesmerizing shots below and let us know your thoughts in the comments.
#1 ‘Sharks’ Skylight’ By Renee Capozzola (USA), ‘Wide Angle’ Category – First Place
#2 ‘Milk Feeding’ By Mike Korostelev (Russian Federation), ‘Behaviour’ Category – Third Place
#3 ‘Pontohi Pigmy Seahorse’ By Galice Hoarau (Norway), ‘Macro’ Category – First Place
#4 ‘Larval Lionfish’ By Steven Kovacs (USA), ‘Macro’ Category – Second Place
#5 ‘The Great Migration’ By Mark Kirkland (UK), ‘British Waters Wide Angle’ Category – Second Place
SJ Alice Bennett, a Mexico-based designer, photographer, and diver from the United Kingdom, submitted her entry titled ‘Trying In’, a wonderful view of the Cenote Mayan Blue Cave. She states that while she had intricate plans to run her shoot, it failed miserably due to some equipment failures. In her winning photo description, she explains that while plans are important, it’s equally important to adapt quickly and deal with new and unexpected situations if the plans fail.
Bennett’s entry won the first in the ‘Up & Coming’ category. Not only that, but she also won the title of ‘Most Promising British Underwater Photographer”.
#6 ‘Sunrise Mute Swan Feeding Underwater’ By Ian Wade (UK), ‘British Waters Compacts’ Category – First Place
#7 ‘Nest Buddies’ By Dan Bolt (UK), ‘British Waters Macro’ Category – Third Place
#8 ‘Grey Seal Gully’ By Kirsty Andrews (UK), ‘British Waters Wide Angle’ Category – Third Place
#9 ‘While You Sleep’ By Mark Kirkland (UK), ‘British Waters Wide Angle’ Category – First Place
#10 ‘Keeper Of The Seven Keys’ By Ryohei Ito (Japan), ‘Portraits’ Category – First Place
For her masterpiece titled ‘Sharks’ Twilight’, Renee Capozzola won first place in the ‘Wide Angle’ category. She was also the overall winner of the contest. In the incredible photo, two sharks are swimming in French Polynesia, with a perfectly-timed appearance by some seagulls.
When asked about what she felt when swimming with sharks, Renee Capozzola gave a very surprising answer. Contrary to the widespread belief that sharks are dangerous, Renee thinks that sharks are shy. She states that in her 17 years of diver photography, she has never felt threatened by a shark. Through shark photography, Renee hopes to raise awareness of the added legal protections that sharks across the world need.
#11 ‘Face To Face’ By Jinggong Zhang (China), ‘Behaviour’ Category – Second Place
#12 ‘Gothic Chamber’ By Martin Broen (US), ‘Wide Angle’ Category – Second Place
By now, it must be clear to you that underwater photography is no easy task. In fact, it’s much more than having the right equipment and proper photographic knowledge. Being able to successfully adapt to the new visual environment is very important in underwater photography.
Bennett states that one of the major challenges of underwater photography is managing the lighting. Since there’s no light underwater, all the light needed to see underwater should be supplied artificially. According to Capozzola, the biggest challenge about underwater photography is diving with a limited air supply. Managing buoyancy, swimming in currents, and reading animal behavior while diving with a limited supply of air is indeed challenging.