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UPY 2017 Portrait - Winner
'Face to face' - ifj. Lorincz Ferenc
We were photographing a big school of bat fish in front of the fully blue background in Shark Rafeen, Rash Mohamed National Park in Egypt, but it is extremely hard to capture a school of fish in a nice position, especially with divers swimming by all the time, so I gave up trying. Not so far from the others I noticed a crevice in a rock, which fish used as a cleaning station, and slowly, very slowly, I swam into the gap, switching places with the cleaning fish. This made it possible to photograph this bat fish front on.
Judge's comment: Peter Rowlands: One of the most useful things about UPY Yearbooks is that they are perfect reference works for underwater photographers to see exactly what works and wins in this competition. Here is a great example of what really works as a portrait. The eye contact is immediate and they are pin sharp but it is the mouth and lips which deliver the character. The lighting and colour contrast lifts the subject from the background and, for me, the four little fish in the background are the icing on the cake.
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