Underwater Photographer of the Year 2022 is Open for Submissions

renee capozzola

UPY 2021 overall winner Shark's Skylight (Renee Capozzola/UPY 2021)

The Underwater Photographer of the Year 2022 contest has opened for entries, with prizes reinstated after being withdrawn during the 2021 competition in light of the coronavirus pandemic. Despite the world travel shutdown, more than 500 photographers submitted pictures to the 2021 competition, which was won by Renee Capozzola from the USA with her photograph 'Sharks' Skylight'.

Although international travel remains restricted, many photographers have still been able to dive locally, and the 'My Backyard Award' created for the 2021 competition will continue this year to highlight images taken closer to home. The category was won last year by Mark Kirkland from the centre of Glasgow, UK, with his image 'While You Sleep.'

mark kirkland

UPY 2021 My Backyard Award Winner 'While You Sleep' (Mark Kirkland/UPY2021)

'The previous edition of UPY created our biggest splash yet,' said Alex Mustard, chair of the judges. 'During the pandemic the stunning photos proved so popular as an escape into the underwater world. Last year also saw our first female overall winner, with Renee taking the top spot in the entire competition with Shark Skylight. We’re already excited about what UPY 2022 will bring.

'For many of the photographers, the last couple of years have brought more local diving, and it is really turning up very fresh underwater imagery, so we’re continuing with our new My Backyard Award to celebrate images taken close to home, wherever that may be.'

UPY is an annual competition first won by British photographer, Phil Smith, in1965. This year's competition will again have 13 categories including traditional categories such as Macro, Wide Angle, Behaviour, Wreck and Conservation pictures, in addition to four classes for images taken in British waters. More than 30 prizes are available in this year's competition, which will be judged by expert underwater photographers Peter Rowlands, Martin Edge and Alex Mustard.

The deadline for entries is 4 January 2022. Check out the 2021 winners here, and visit www.underwaterphotographeroftheyear.com to sign up and submit photographs to the competition.


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