Winners revealed for the Underwater Photographer of the Year awards
The winners in the annual Underwater Photographer of the Year competition have recently been announced, with American photographer Renee Capozzola named the Overall Winner for the 2021 contest with her image, Sharks' Skylight. A record number of entries were received, with a total of 5,500 photographs from 500 underwater photographers from around the world. The first female to ever take out the title, Capozzola beat photographers from over 70 countries. The competition has 13 categories, including Macro, Behaviour, Black & White, and Marine Conservation, as well as several categories focused specifically on images that are captured in British waters.
Captured in Moorea, French Polynesia, Capozzola stated that the location is one her favourites to photograph shark. Of the winning image, she said, “I spent several evenings in the shallows at sunset, hoping to capture something unique. Instead of focusing on split-level images as I often like to do, I decided to try something different. I envisioned and aimed to capture the sharks underwater with the sunset seen through Snell's window”. Her image captures blacktip reef sharks swimming below seagulls. Judges described Capozzola’s image as “mesmerising” and “richly deserved winner”.
A number of Australian photographers were named as winners and finalists in this year’s competition. Diana Fernie’s was named winner of the Black & White category with her image, The Cut, captured at Leru Cut in the Solomon Islands, while Tasmanian photographer Danny Lee placed third in the Up & Coming category of the competition.
The work of several other Australian photographers received Highly Commended and Commended awards in a variety of categories. Their images appear below.
The work of all the winners and finalists can be seen at this link.
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