Lecoeur’s iceberg seals score again


Lecoeur’s iceberg seals score again

Crabeater seals

Frozen Mobile Home (Picture © Greg Lecouer / UPY 2020)

“Frozen Mobile Home”, an image of crabeater seals swirling around an iceberg, has helped French full-time photographer Greg Lecoeur to win the title of Underwater Photographer of the Year 2020.

A different photograph from Lecoeur’s crabeater-seal series recently won another prestigious contest, the US-based Ocean Art underwater photographic competition, as seen in the March edition of DIVER magazine.

“Frozen Mobile Home” triumphed over 5500 other underwater pictures submitted by photographers from 70 countries. Lecoeur travelled to Antarctica on a small yacht to document wildlife on icebergs drifting on the polar currents.

“Little is known about how wildlife thrives around these mobile homes,” he said. “Icebergs fertilise the oceans by carrying nutrients from land that spark blooms of marine life and also provide homes for larger animals, like these crabeater seals.”

The photo, which also won the UPY Wide-Angle category, was taken with a Nikon D500 with Tokina 10-17mm lens in a Nauticam NA D500 housing with two Ikelite DS 161 strobes with settings f/9, 1/250, ISO250.

“The motion of these seals and the ethereal landscape of the pitted iceberg takes our eyes on a journey through the frame and transports us to the icy ocean of Antarctica,” commented judging panel chair Alex Mustard. The other judges were Peter Rowlands and Martin Edge.

Italian photographer Pasquale Vassallo was named Marine Conservation Photographer of the Year for “Last Dawn, Last Gasp”, a photograph showing the final moments of a Mediterranean tuna’s life as it was hauled up towards a fishing boat.

Anita Kainrath, from Austria, won the title Up & Coming Underwater Photographer of the Year for “Shark Nursery”, her picture of baby lemon sharks in mangroves in the Bahamas.

25 February 2020

The UK-based UPY competition also makes two awards specifically for British photographers.

Motion-blur specialist Nick More was named British Underwater Photographer of the Year for his pop-art style “Rabbitfish Zoom Blur”, while the title of Most Promising British Underwater Photographer went to Nur Tucker for “Commotion in the Ocean”, an artistic depiction of a seahorse.

A 180-page Underwater Photographer of the Year Yearbook, containing all the 2020 winning images with back stories/judges comments, is available for free download.

The winning images will also be featured in print in the May issue of DIVER magazine.


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