Winner: TREVOR REES (UK)

The Amphipod Has Landed (Loch Carron, Scotland)

Photographer’s comments:
”This amphipod (Iphimedia obesa) was a subject I had not photographed before, or really been aware of. Conditions were such that the water at the time was alive with them – like little fleas darting all over the reef.
“I settled down with a macro lens fitted with a dry diopter and just kept searching until I found a co-operative individual. I aimed for a low-angle, side-on composition at the maximum magnification that minimum focus would allow.
“As with many tiny creatures, most divers are probably unaware of their beauty and amazing colours, so a photo is particularly valued.”

Technical: Nikon D600, 105mm, Sea & Sea housing, Sea & Sea YS110 strobe with snoot. 1/2500th @ f/32, ISO 400.

Judge’s comments (Peter Rowlands): ”In some categories there is sometimes a shot that is head and shoulders ahead of the others, and this is it. Graphically simple, perfectly composed, with pin-sharp focus and beautifully lit, it has a delicacy that is both beautiful and strange in equal measure.”

Runner-Up: MATT DOGGETT (UK)

Peekaboo Puffin (North Rona, Scotland)

Photographer’s comments:
”Using Richard Shucksmith’s beautifully fashioned homemade puffins attached to our heads as a disguise, we could approach close enough to photograph the birds from an underwater perspective.
“Although guillemots buzzed right up to us almost immediately, the puffins remained shy, taking a long time before swimming close to us under water. This one looked particularly cheeky as it checked me out for what I really was!”

Technical: Canon 5D Mk2, 100mm. Ikelite housing, Inon Z240 strobes. 1/320th @ f/6.3, ISO 500.

Judge’s comments (Alex Mustard): ”Photographing puffins under water is very challenging, and doing so in British conditions is even tougher, yet this is a powerful portrait that
tells us about the c onflicting emotions of curiosity and nervousness in this engaging subject.”

Third: ARTHUR KINGDON (UK)

Northern Prawn (St Abbs, Scotland)

Photographer’s comments:
”This northern prawn was in a crack in the rocks a couple of feet above the seabed. This allowed me to shoot from below. I have always been fascinated by the eyes of these creatures, so
I opened up the aperture and concentrated on focusing just on the eyes. This gave a different image to the usual macro shot where maximum depth of field is aimed for.”

Technical: Nikon D7000, 60mm. Aquatica housing, Inon Z240 strobes. 1/320th @ f5.6, ISO 200.

Judge’s comments (Alex Mustard): ”I am always impressed by images where the photographer transforms an everyday subject into an image of eye-catching beauty. The pinpoint focus, depth of field and particularly the control on lighting make this a very impressive portrait.”

Highly Commended: Ally McDowell (UK), Jane Morgan (UK), Alex Tattersall (UK), Matt Doggett (UK)
Commended: Trevor Rees (UK), Cathy Lewis (UK), Steve Jones (UK)

INTRODUCTION
CATEGORY 1: INTERNATIONAL WIDE ANGLE
CATEGORY 2: INTERNATIONAL MACRO
CATEGORY 3: INTERNATIONAL WRECKS
CATEGORY 4: INTERNATIONAL BEHAVIOUR
CATEGORY 5: UP AND COMING WORLDWIDE
CATEGORY 6: BRITISH WATERS WIDE ANGLE
CATEGORY 7: BRITISH WATERS MACRO
CATEGORY 8: BRITISH WATERS COMPACT