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UPY Wide Angle - Runner Up
'Fotteyo overhangs' - Oleg Gaponyuk
Fotteyo overhangs, with golden bunches of soft corals that you can see in this picture, is a rather famous place in the southern Maldives. It is impossible to cover the cave even with a fisheye lens due to its small depth. That’s how I decided to create a panorama of this place. It was my first underwater panorama created with the use of lighting and I am so happy that such technologies push the boundaries of underwater photography.
The Maldives are experiencing difficult times as the temperature rise has led to the death of many hard corals. It is sad to see how splendid coral gardens have turned into graves of the hard pebbles.
Nevertheless, there are places that have preserved the pristine beauty, and I am happy to share it with my spectators.
Judge's comment: One of my favourites from the entire competition.
The idea of a panoramic frame to present this image is very forward thinking. The even spread of light from all four corners, top to bottom is superb. The lighting in particular, very subtle indeed. Last but not least, the outline of a diver and torch way behind in the blue water background. All of these elements together create huge depth perspective throughout. I find this particular image nothing short of magnificent!
- Martin Edge
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