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UPY Award Winners - Up & Coming Underwater Photographer of the Year 2021.
Most Promising British Underwater Photographer 2021
SJ Alice Bennett
As this shot was taken during cave training, we had a pretty intricate plan in place, which is not usually how I run caves shoots. However, the plan failed miserably as the cave student, Max, had multiple equipment failures before even making it past the cavern zone. Plans are important, but when they fail you need to adapt quickly and deal with a new situation. After fixing all the issues on the surface and changing our plan to accommodate our now fairly depleted gas supplies, we descended again. I swam ahead and waited just beyond the beginning of the permanent mainline watching the team swim towards me, followed closely by the lighting assistants creating those beautiful halo effects. Suddenly everything just lined up perfectly, so I pressed the shutter just as Max turned to tie into the mainline.
Judge's comment: We always value fresh vision in the Up & Coming category and the combination of incredible lighting and shallow depth of field empower this image with originality and truly capture the spirit of adventure that the photographer was striving for.
- Alex Mustard
This strong image brought two words to mind - confidence and talent. Confident enough to pull off such an ambitious image and talented to visualise such good composition and control complicated lighting.
- Peter Rowlands
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