Winner: FABRICE GUERIN (France)

Angelita (Yucatan, Mexico)

Photographer’s comments:
”In the middle of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula there is a very special natural cave called cenote Angelita. It is a unique diving experience, with the light going from blue to green.
“Then, at a depth of 30m, a metre-thick layer of hydrogen sulphide appears. The atmosphere is similar to that of a lunar landscape. When I spotted this diver between the branches of a tree, I had all the elements for a surreal underwater image.”

Technical: Canon 5D Mk3, 20mm. Aquatica housing, Inon Z240 strobes. 1/250th, f/5,6, ISO 2500.

Judge’s comments (Martin Edge): ”Such a unique image!
So different to anything else in the competition. It’s particularly atmospheric, and the understated use of post-processing has provided a soft, surreal, dream-like photo. 
“The composition is subtle and effective, with the peak of the action capturing the diver between the dominant foreground.
“I love this shot and it’s fair to say that it was one of my favourites of the competition.”

Runner-Up: TOMMI KOKKOLA (Finland)

Fast Oceanic (Brothers Islands, Egypt)

Photographer’s comments:  ”I was on a liveaboard full of photographers and one of our targets was to shoot oceanic whitetip sharks. The sharks were around and we had many opportunities to shoot them.
“By our final dive at the Brothers I was happy with my shots, so decided to experiment with slow shutter speeds. I got only one chance, but it worked out just fine.”

Technical: Canon 5D Mk3, 8-15mm 1.4x teleconverter. Seacam housing, Inon Z240 strobes. 1/13th, f/8, ISO 320.

Judge’s comments (Alex Mustard):  ”Sharks are dramatic subjects, made more so when combined with techniques such as long exposure and panning. Not that it’s easy to think about using a creative technique when faced by such an exciting subject.
“Being able to think under water and under pressure is the mark of an excellent photographer.”

Third and Most Promising British Underwater Photographer of the Year : Mario Vitalini (UK)

Glowing Goby (Lembeh, Sulawesi, Indonesia)

Photographer’s comments: ”I love backlighting for the contrast it brings and I really like the translucent effect it has on many subjects.
“Even with all the other critters in Lembeh, I couldn’t resist this ordinary goby and had a bit of a competition with my dive-buddy to get a backlit shot.”

Technical: Olympus OMD-EM5, 60mm. Nauticam housing, Sea & Sea D1 strobes. 1/250th @ f/16, ISO 400.

Judge’s comments (Peter Rowlands): ”Here is a perfect example of how to light a subject to great effect, but backlighting can introduce problems of its own and enhance any backscatter.
“The lovely contrast between the rich black background and the translucent body of the fish combined with a powerful diagonal composition make this a very effective image.”

Highly Commended: Ken Kiefer II (USA), John Parker (UK), Duncan Robbins (UK), Gary Peart (UK)
Commended: Juha Paunisaari (Finland), Ken Kiefer II (USA), Michael Weberberger (Austria)

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