The Winners of the 2018 Underwater Photographer of the Year Contest Have Been Announced

Sure, your Instagram showcases some pretty cool photos. Nice job. But all it takes is one glance at the winners of the Underwater Photographer of the Year Contest to remind yourself that professionals really know their way around a lens. Even if you're not a whiz with color and composition, we can all at least enjoy the end results. You've never seen aquatic beauty quite like this, folks.

Under the Sea

Since it began in 2014, Britain's Underwater Photographer of the Year (UPY) Contest has showcased the wonderous watery works of dozens of international photographers. For the 2018 competition, the UPY received more than 5,000 submissions in 11 different categories:

Wide Angle: for wide angle images.

Macro: for close-up/macro images.

Wrecks: for wide angle to macro images shot on wrecks. The wreck can be the main subject, or simply the setting for a marine life, macro or diver photograph.

Behaviour: for wide angle to close-up and macro images showing interesting natural behaviour of underwater life.

Portrait: for wide angle to close-up and macro images depicting a sense of character of the chosen subject.

Black & White: (new for 2018) for black and white images of any underwater subject (macro or wide angle).

Compact: for wide angle or close-up/macro images with a compact camera.

Up & Coming: for wide angle or close-up/macro images from underwater photographers who have not previously been awarded in an underwater photography competition or been published.

British Waters Wide Angle: for images shot anywhere in UK waters.

British Waters Macro: for close-up/macro images shot anywhere in UK waters.

British Waters Compact: for wide angle or close-up/macro images shot in British Waters with a compact camera.

And the Winner Is ...

The grand prize winner, crowned Underwater Photographer of the Year 2018, was German photographer Tobias Friedrich. His photo entitled CYCLE-WAR shows a panoramic view of British World War II military vehicles inside a shipwreck in the Red Sea. For his work, Friedrich won the top prize: a $5,000 voucher from Nauticam. More importantly, he got plenty of glory.

Scroll down to check out his and other winning photos from the competition.

Wide Angle

Winner: "Humpback whale spy hopping"
Runner Up: "Surrounded"


Winner: "Seahorse Density"
Runner Up: "Friend or Food?!"


Winner: "CYCLE-WAR"
Runner Up: "Safe Navigation"


Winner: "The Fisherman"
Runner Up: "In Hiding"


Winner: "A sand tiger shark surrounded by tiny bait fish"
Runner Up: "The Nose"

Black & White

Winner: "Crocodile reflections"
Runner Up: "Graceful manta"

Compact Cameras

Winner: "Dancing with the giants"
Runner Up: "Flower power"

Up & Coming

Winner: "ROAR"
Runner Up: "The Hammer"

British Waters Wide Angle

Winner: "Love Birds"
Runner Up: "Shark Speed"

British Waters Macro

Winner: "Battle of the Tompots"
Runner Up: "Topshell tapestry"

British Waters Compact Camera

Winner: "Scratchy Seal"
Runner Up: "Intertwined Mute Swans"

If you're interested in getting involved next year, check out all the rules right here.

Want to sharpen your skills? Check out the book "Underwater Photography" from none other than the winner of this year's contest, Tobias Friedrich. We handpick reading recommendations we think you may like. If you choose to make a purchase through that link, Curiosity will get a share of the sale.

Written by Joanie Faletto May 4, 2018

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