Underwater Photographer of the Year

A photograph of five hungry whale sharks feeding in the waters off the Maldives has resulted in Rafael Fernández Caballero being named underwater photographer of the year 2022.


‘Giants of the night’ captures the sharks – the biggest fish in the world – feeding together on nocturnal plankton. “It was already incredible when one whale shark came to our boat,” said Fernández. “But more and more kept arriving. I was diving with Gador Muntaner, a shark researcher, who couldn’t believe it as their numbers grew. He counted 11 sharks that night, a once-in-a-lifetime encounter that nobody thought was possible.”


Judge Alex Mustard said: “Photography needs light and simply recording these giants in a dark ocean is a massive achievement. To do this with such beautiful light and careful composition of the five sharks is outstanding.”


Four whale sharks feeding at night in an inky dark ocean.
Image: Rafael Fernández Caballero