Almost 2/3rd of the Earth is covered in water and it’s a waste not to celebrate it. The Underwater Photography Competition is held for this purpose – to celebrate underwater wonders. Its winners for the year 2021 were announced recently, and Renee Capozolla won the title of The Underwater Photographer of the year 2021.
First, second, third places, and several honorable mentions were selected across 14 different photographic categories including wide-angle, macro, wrecks, etc. Here are 20 of the most memorable shots. Enjoy them and leave your thoughts in the comments.
#1 ‘Sharks’ Skylight’ By Renee Capozzola (USA), ‘Wide Angle’ Category – First Place
Renee Capozolla won first place in the wide-angle category and also the overall competition. Her masterpiece titled “Sharks’ Skylight” shows two blacktip reef sharks cruising beneath seagulls during sunset in French Polynesia.
“Instead of focusing on split-level images that I am known for, I decided to try something different. I envisioned and aimed to capture the sharks underwater with the sunset seen through Snell’s window. It took many attempts, but on this particular evening the water was calm, the sharks came into a nice composition, and I got lucky with the birds as well,” she said.
#2 ‘Milk Feeding’ By Mike Korostelev (Russian Federation), ‘Behaviour’ Category – Third Place
#3 ‘Pontohi Pigmy Seahorse’ By Galice Hoarau (Norway), ‘Macro’ Category – First Place
Renee Capozzola’s intimacy with sharks is amusing. She says sharks are just shy and not dangerous as many people believe. She hopes to continue her career of 17 years as a diver photographer while raising awareness of the legal protection sharks need.
#4 ‘Larval Lionfish’ By Steven Kovacs (USA), ‘Macro’ Category – Second Place
#5 ‘The Great Migration’ By Mark Kirkland (UK), ‘British Waters Wide Angle’ Category – Second Place
Unlike taking photographs on land, underwater photography invites many novel challenges. Having the right equipment and not being aquaphobic alone aren’t enough. The photographer must also adapt to the new environment. Artificial lighting and limited air supply are just a fraction of the picture.
Capozzola commented on the challenges faced during underwater photography, “I’d have to say that one of the most challenging things about underwater photography is that it necessitates capturing your images while diving with a limited supply of air, managing your buoyancy, swimming in currents, and being able to quickly read animal behavior. Divers also don’t have the luxury of being able to change lenses during a shoot or spend all day at one location.”
Despite the challenges, these photographers have certainly done a wonderful job in capturing a world we don’t get to witness every day.