Thistlegorm image gives Friedrich UPY title

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Thistlegorm image gives Friedrich UPY title

A panoramic photograph of military vehicles deep inside the Red Sea's Thistlegorm wreck have seen German photographer Tobias Friedrich named Underwater Photographer of the Year 2018.

His image, named Cycle War, triumphed over some  5000 other pictures entered by underwater photographers from all around the world for the annual UK-based competition.

Cycle War shows Norton 16H motorbikes loaded in Fordson WOT 3 trucks, with soldierfish schooling above.

“I had 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,” said Friedrich, a Diver contributor.

“My solution was to take a series of pictures and stitch them together as a panorama.”

The chair of the judges, Peter Rowlands, described the winning photograph as a “quite extraordinary shot” that needed to be viewed as large as possible.

“The artistic skill is to  visualise such an image and the photographic talent is to achieve it,” he said. You can see the image reproduced a large size in print in the April issue of Diver, along with the other category and overall winners.

The title of British Underwater Photographer of the Year went to Grant Thomas for  a photograph of two swans called Love Birds, taken in Loch Lomond, while Tony  Stephenson was named Most Promising British Underwater Photographer for his picture How Many Pike? taken at Leicestershire's Stoney Cove.

Malaysian Man BD was named Up & Coming Underwater Photographer of the Year for an image called Roar, taken in Indonesia and showing nudibranchs in front of a gaping moray eel.

The other two photographers making up the UPY judging panel were Alex Mustard and Martin Edge, and other winning entries and a presentation video can be found here.

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