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UPY Award Winners - British Underwater Photographer of the Year 2021.
My Backyard Winner
'While You Sleep'
Malls Mire - small woodland in Glasgow, between a housing estate, supermarket and factory - is an unlikely haven for wildlife. As winter thaws, for a few nights each year one of it's small muddy ponds comes alive with Common Frogs. I first photographed them here in 2018 and since that day I've had this image in my head. It took another two years before I captured the little wonders that stir in the cold nights while the city sleeps. Using a temperamental remote shutter while combining long-exposure, backlighting, close-focus wide angle and split photography meant I had to abandon any frustrations and try (and inevitably fail) for the hundredth time to get it right. This final shot is a culmination 25 hours over 4 nights of lying in darkness, covered in mud, waiting on natures unpredictable elements to align. Time well spent? Absolutely.
Judge's comment: I honestly think that the appearance of this image will go down in the history of underwater photography as a defining moment. Perfect yet flawed, natural in urban. I think it is a masterpiece. Savour it.
- Peter Rowlands
Technically assured, artistically innovative and revealing an original and valuable view of the life of frogs. Every aspect contributes to the story, spawn shouts what’s happening, bare trees show season, the sky demonstrates time of day, tower blocks reveal location, even the droplets on the dome look like stars!
- Alex Mustard
Once again such hard work and dedication. You have followed your dream for some time and all your hard work and cold nights have paid off. A nightime city suberb with high rise flats, add to the mix Comon Frogs. You have illuminated them perfectly not withstanding the light, the cold and most of all, creating a split image. Simply perfect in every way.
- Martin Edge
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