Spectacular Winning Photos of the 2021 Underwater Photographer of the Year Contest – Design You Trust

Spectacular Winning Photos of the 2021 Underwater Photographer of the Year Contest

The winners of this year’s Underwater Photographer of the Year contest were just announced, and Renee Capozzola was named Underwater Photographer of the Year 2021 for her image of blacktip reef sharks cruising beneath seagulls at sunset in French Polynesia. Prizes and commendations were handed out in categories including Wide Angle, Macro, Wrecks, Behavior, Portrait, Black and White, Compact, Up and Coming, Marine Conservation, and more. Contest organizers were once again kind enough to share some of this year’s honorees with us below, with captions written by the photographers.


Underwater photographer of the year 2021 and wide angle category winner. Sharks’ Skylight by Renee Capozzola (US), taken near shore of island of Mo’orea, French Polynesia.

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Wide angle category runner-up. Gothic Chamber by Martin Broen (US), taken in Cenote Monkey Dust, Mexico.


Macro category winner. Pontohi Pigmy Seahorse by Galice Hoarau (Norway), taken in Siladen Back, Indonesia.


Macro category runner-up. Larval Lionfish by Steven Kovacs (US), taken in Palm Beach, Florida.


Wrecks category winner. Bowlander by Tobias Friedrich (Germany), taken near Nassau, Bahamas.


Wrecks category runner-up. Reclaimed by the Ocean by Grant Thomas (UK), taken in Aqaba, Jordan.


Behaviour category winner. A Striped Marlin in a High Speed Hunt by Karim Iliya (US), taken in San Carlos, Baja California, Mexico.


Behaviour category runner-up. Face to Face by Zhang Jinggong (China), two punk blenny or Mohican blenny taken in Minabe, Wakayama, Japan.


Portrait category winner. Guardian Deity by Ryohei Ito (Japan), Asian sheepshead wrasse taken in Tateyama, Chiba, Japan.


Portrait category runner-up. Japanese Manefish by Keigo Kawamura (Japan), taken in Ose, Japan.


Black & White category winner. The Cut by Diana Fernie (Australia), taken in Leru Cut, Solomon Islands.


Black & white category runner-up. Time Travel by Martin Broen (US), taken in Cenote Chan Hol (Little Hole), Mexico.


Compact category winner. Doule (Kuhlia Rupestris) Near the Surface by Jack Berthomier (New Caledonia), taken in Ouenghi River, New Caledonia.


Compact category runner-up. Rainbow Goby by ManBd (Malaysia), hairy panda goby taken in Lembeh, Indonesia.


Up & coming category winner and most promising British underwater photographer 2021. Tying In by SJ Alice Bennett (Mexico), taken in Cenote Mayan Blue, Mexico.


Up & coming category runner-up. Toward Shining Light by Ryohei Ito (Japan), manta ray taken in Maaya lagoon, North Ari Atoll, Maldives.


British underwater photographer of the year 2021, British waters wide angle category winner and My Backyard category winner. While You Sleep by Mark Kirkland (UK), common frog taken in Malls Mire, Glasgow, Scotland.


British waters wide angle category runner-up. The Great Migration by Mark Kirkland (UK), basking shark taken in Isle of Coll, Inner Hebrides, Scotland.


British waters macro winner. Portrait of a Variable Blenny by Malcolm Nimmo (UK), taken in Plymouth Sound, England.


British waters macro runner-up. Stalkie on Bootlace Weed by Alex Tattersall (UK), stalked jellyfish taken in Kimmeridge Bay, Dorset, England.


British waters living together category winner. SS Hispania by Kirsty Andrews (UK), taken in the Sound of Mull, Scotland.


British waters living together category runner-up. Crab Affairs by Atanas Petrov (UK), a couple of brown crabs taken on SS Rosalie, Weybourne, England.


British waters compact category winner. Sunrise Mute Swan Feeding Underwater by Ian Wade (UK), taken in St Georges Park, Bristol.


British waters compact category runner-up. Hold Tight by Sandra Stalker (UK), underwater meadow taken in Kimmeridge Bay, Dorset, England.


Marine conservation photographer of the year 2021. Aerial View of a Crowded Island in Guna Yala by Karim Iliya (US) taken in Guna Yala, Panama.


Marine conservation category runner-up. The Yellow Candy by Pasquale Vassallo (Italy), taken in Campi Flegrei, Italy.

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