Italian photographer Davide Lopresti is the Underwater Photographer of the Year

Italian Davide Lopresti is the winner of the 2016 edition of the Underwater Photographer of the Year Awards. His stunning seahorse image stood out. Here’s his comment after the award ceremony.

“My path in the world of photography started underwater. I began to take land pictures just in a second step. I’ve always felt at ease with water”. This is how Davide Lopresti, Italian photographer named 2016 Underwater Photographer of the Year, tells his story.

Lopresti’s shot, entitled Gold, portrays a seahorse in the sea depths off the coasts of Trieste and aims to celebrate the recovery of these animals in the Mediterranean area, made possible thanks to effective repopulation policies and awareness campaigns in some marine areas.


“I didn’t expect my photo could win the contest. I saw very impressive shots during the award ceremony. Someone even built an underwater cage in order to take pictures of a bear hunting for salmons,” Lopresti said. “The jury said my photograph stood out. They wanted to honour the interpretation rather than the subject. Seahorses are pretty common subjects, but I used a particular technique for this shot, long exposure, in order to have a blurred background. I also used a focused beam of light to freeze the details in the subject. My aim was to give the scene a sense of grace and strength simultaneously.”


Davide Lopresti was named 2016 Underwater Photographer of the Year among talented photographers coming from 54 different countries. The contest is organised by Alex Mustard, world-renowned underwater photographer who relaunched the contest that has been organised for over 60 year by the British Society of Underwater Photographers (BSOUP).


“Photography is one of the most important means of communication and allows people understand what sea conceals,” added Lopresti. “Thanks to images we can spread important messages, including the beauty of marine ecosystems, such as those in the Red Sea, wiped out by mass tourism”. Communication is only a starting point, tough. Action is needed, starting from a responsible and sustainable tourism.

Translated by

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