The winners of Underwater Photographer of the Year 2018

A panoramic photograph of British World War Two military vehicles deep inside a shipwreck sees German photographer Tobias Friedrich named as Underwater Photographer of the Year 2018.

Friedrich’s photograph, taken off the coast of Ras Mohammed in Egypt, triumphed over 5,000 underwater pictures entered by photographers from across the world.

Motorcycles inside the SS Thistlegorm. Image copyright Tobias Friedrich/UPY 2018

‘Cycle War’ was taken in Egypt and shows Norton 16H motorbikes loaded in the SS Thistlegorm, with soldierfish schooling above.

“I’ve 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,” explains Friedrich. “My solution was take a series of 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 in visualising such an image, and the photographic talent is in achieving it.”

Grant Thomas won the title of British Underwater Photographer of the Year. His image of swans, titled ‘Love Birds’, was taken in Scotland’s Loch Lomond.

Waiting in the waters of the lake, Thomas’s patience paid off. “The swans were searching for food. I just had to wait for that perfect moment of synchronicity.”

Two swans feeding under the lake water. Image copyright Grant Thomas/UPY 2018

The competition had 11 categories, testing photographers with themes such as Macro, Wide Angle, Behaviour and Wreck Photography, as well as three categories for photos taken in British waters.

Sea slugs with a moray eel in the background. Image copyright ManBd UiDive/UPY 2018
A group of pike underwater. Image copyright Tony Stephenson/UPY 2018
A humpback whale skyhopping. Image copyright Greg Lecoeur/UPY 2018
Three seahorses backlit under the water. Image copyright SHANE GROSS/UPY 2018
Shark behaviourist Cristina Zenato surrounded by sharks in The Bahamas Image copyright Fan Ping/UPY 2018
A coiled up conger eel. Image copyright Songda Cai/UPY 2018
A fish wedged between the bell and the tentacles of a jellyfish. Image copyright Scott Gutsy Tuason/UPY 2018
A cormorant with a fish in its mouth. Image copyright Filippo Borghi/UPY 2018
A sand tiger shark surrounded by millions of tiny fish Image copyright Tanya Houppermans/UPY 2018
Humpback whales swimming under the water Image copyright Simone Matucci/UPY 2018
A bear hunting for salmon in the water. Image copyright Mike Korostelev/UPY 2018
A crocodile reflected on the surface of the water. Image copyright Borut Furlan/UPY 2018

All photographs subject to copyright.

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