Winner & Underwater Photographer of the Year: NUNO SÁ (Portugal)

50 Tons Of Me (Algarve, Portugal)

Photographer’s comments: ”The natural reserve of Ria Formosa is home to the world’s largest population of the two species of seahorses found in the Mediterranean and Atlantic. However, the local university together with Project Seahorse has registered an 85% decline in seahorse populations between 2001 and 2009.
”I spent 10 days diving in this natural reserve for National Geographic Portugal, following a pioneering project between the University of Algarve with Project Seahorse, which is breeding seahorses in captivity.
“The goal is to reduce the demand for wild seahorses and also to repopulate areas where seahorses populations have been reduced or made extinct by fishing. More than 50 tonnes of seahorses are captured every year for ornamental purposes and use in traditional oriental medicine.
“To light this photo, I had unusual accessories – two scientists, who were holding my strobes, one behind and one above the seahorse.”

Technical: Canon EOS 5D, 100mm. Aquatica housing, Ikelite DS125 strobes. 1/200th @ f/13, ISO 50.

Judge’s comments (Martin Edge): ”In the opinion of
the judges, the best in show! The composition is simple but so effective. What attracts me to this particular image is quality of light and shade made possible by the subtle use of flash. Its as though it’s lit from within. It’s also a fine example of what I refer to as delicate post-processing.”

Runner-Up: THERESA GUISE (USA)

Dancing Shrimp In Formation (Anilao, Philippines)

Photographer’s comments:
”The image was taken on a dive-site mooring, a large concrete block covered in pink sponge. Closer inspection showed an abundance of dancing shrimp. They formed interesting patterns and formations, such as the one in this image.
“Their red bodies and turquoise eyes were a striking contrast
to the pink sponge, but complemented it, as if arranged by an interior designer.”

Technical: Canon EOS 5D Mk3, 100mm. Nauticam housing, Inon Z240 strobes. 1/250th @ f/13, ISO 200.

Judge’s comments (Martin Edge): ”Who says you need rare and exotic creatures to make great underwater images One of the most common shrimps throughout the world – its a typical subject, which we practice on for our first macro dive of the day! Who would think it could excel in such a big competition
“So incredibly simple but shot by a photographer with an eye for impact, balance and originality – I do so wish I had taken this shot!”

Third: FILIPPO BORGHI (Italy)

The Passenger (Lembeh, Indonesia)

Photographer’s comments:
”I was making a sunset dive with the intention of photographing mandarinfish mating when I spotted this beautiful solar-powered nudibranch.
“I was already busy photographing it when from between its horns this tiny emperor shrimp appeared.
Perhaps it was more confident in the fading light”

Technical: Nikon D800e, 105mm. Subal housing, Ikelite DS160 strobes. 1/250th @ f/16, ISO 100.

Judge’s comments (Peter Rowlands): ”This remarkable image gets better and better the larger you view it. With macro it’s often tempting to go in close for maximum detail and scale, but in this case the symmetry of the main host enhanced by the dominant oral tentacles and the extremely delicate lighting has produced an image that perfectly captures the relationship between these two beautiful creatures.”

Highly Commended: Marcello Di Francesco (Italy), François Parot (France), Jeffrey de Guzman (Philippines), Pash Baker (UK)
Commended: Tobias Friedrich (Germany), Lynn Wu (Taiwan), Adriano Morettin (Italy)

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