An image taken by German photographer Tobias Friedrich has been named Underwater Photographer of the Year 2018.
The image, a panorama photograph of British World War II military vehicles deep inside a shipwreck in the Red Sea was selected from more than 5,000 entries into the competition from photographers around the world.
“Cycle War” was taken in Egypt and depicts Norton 16H motorbikes loaded in Fordson WOT 3 trucks, with soldierfish schooling above. Friedrich said of the winning shot, “I 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. My solution was to take a series of pictures and stitch them together as a panorama.”
The competition judging panel is chaired by Peter Rowlands, who said, “this is quite an extraordinary shot which must be viewed as large as possible. The artistic skill is to visualise such as image and the photographic talent is to achieve it.”
Additionally, British Underwater Photographer of the Year 2018 goes to to Grant Thomas from Glasgow (now living in New Zealand). Taken in Loch Lomond, Scotland, and depicting swans, his photograph is titled “Love Birds”.
Another category in the competition is Up and Coming Underwater Photographer of the Year 2018, awarded to Malaysian photographer Man BD for his image “Roar”. It shows a pair of sea slugs with a gaping moral eel as a background, photographed in Indonesia.
The title of Most Promising British Underwater Photographer 2018 went to Tony Stephenson from the East Midlands for his shot “How Many Pike?”, revealing pike courtship in Stoney Cove, Leicestershire.
Underwater Photographer of the Year is an annual competition based in the UK which seeks to celebrate photography beneath the surface of the ocean, lakes and even swimming pools. It has been running since 1965 and now encompasses 11 different categories to include themes such as Macro, Wide Angle, Behaviour and Wreck photography, as well as three categories specifically for photographs taken in British waters.
This year the judging panel consisted of experienced underwater photographers Peter Rowlands, Martin Edge and Alex Mustard.
See below for a gallery of the main winners, including category winners. You can see more photographs from the competition at the Underwater Photographer of the Year website. Alternatively, you can also download a free Yearbook to look at the photos.