A PHOTOGRAPHER who took a dive has come up trumps.
Leamington Spa Photographic Society member Robert Bailey has scooped first place in the Underwater Photographer of the Year ‘British Waters — Wide Angle’ category with his image entitled ‘Off the Wall’.
Robert, who was born in Canada but now lives in Warwick, and snapped his prize-winning shot during a dive in the Isles of Scilly off the Cornish coast.
Robert, who has been diving since 1989 and taking underwater photos for 25 years, explained how he captured his winning picture.
“Our dive group was on a private charter with Dive Scilly late last summer. The skipper dropped us on this lovely wall festooned with invertebrate life.
“I was keen to capture a good wide-angle scenic featuring jewel anemones and a diver. When diving in the UK I’ve found the visibility is rarely good enough for making contrasty wide-angle pictures, let alone including a model. On this occasion the offshore site afforded us clear water. I took advantage of the opportunity, and encouraged my wife and model Paula to work her way into the frame. I took 20 shots in a series on this portion of the wall before settling on this image.”
UPY judging panel chair Alex Mustard explained why Robert’s photo stood out.
“Photographers often feel competition shots must be packed with new tricks to win. At UPY we always appreciate classic technique when it raises the bar of what has been done before. Rob’s full technicolour wide angle scenic reveals the richness of UK seas with an elegant simplicity that is incredibly challenging to pull off in British conditions.”