A pair of juvenile lemon sharks swimming in a shallow mangrove forest in the Bahamas
Prestigious photography competitions are often the best place to view the latest and greatest underwater images and discover new talent. In 2014, a group of UK-based photographers led by Alex Mustard launched the first ever Underwater Photographer of the Year (UPY) competition and since then it has gone on to become a huge success. Many of the winning images in this contest are taken by well-known photographers, but some of the best shots are often submitted by new artists who are less familiar, but certainly no less talented. On that note, l introduce to you our latest photographer of the week and UPY “Up and Coming” Photographer of the Year 2020, Anita Kainrath.
Anita was born in Vienna, Austria and was formally trained in a variety of areas including fashion design, Italian language studies and early childhood education, but her real love is art in all its forms. On any given day, she can be found creating collages, illustrations and even GIFs, and recently she has kept busy by creating fashionable COVID-19 masks for her friends and the local community. When not self-isolating, her preferred art form is, of course, underwater photography, and she currently lives in the Bahamas, where she works as a dive instructor and has plenty of opportunities to capture great images.
The majority of Anita’s best shots are of marine reptiles or mammals. Turtles, crocodiles, dugongs and sea lions all feature, but my personal favorite is her wide-angle shot of juvenile lemon sharks in the mangroves captured in her own backyard—the image that earned her that prestigious UPY title. I have been wanting to take similar shots myself for a long time, so as soon as I can travel and get back underwater again, I may have to pay Anita a visit so she can show me how it’s done. Until then, we can at least admire her portfolio and the impressive work she has accumulated so far.
A green turtle creates clouds of sand while feeding on seagrass in the Red Sea
A critically endangered Cuban crocodile in a cenote, Zapata National Park, Cuba
A freediver explores a cenote in Zapata National Park, Cuba
A Galápagos sea lion hunting
A Florida manatee swims in the marina of Harbour Island in the Bahamas
A dugong feeds on seagrass in the Red Sea
A tiny grass squid—which grows to less than an inch long—in the Bahamas
An invasive lionfish hunting on a reef in the Bahamas
A giant frogfish on a colorful reef in Indonesia
Anita taking pictures of a large green turtle in the Red Sea
See more of Anita’s wonderful images on her Instagram page.
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