Vietnamese photographer wins top award

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Nguyễn Ngọc Thiện’s image of anchovy fishing. — Photo by Nguyễn Ngọc Thiện

HÀ NỘI — Nguyễn Ngọc Thiện, 34, was honoured at the Underwater Photographer of the Year 2022 awards with his image of anchovy fishing off the coast of Hòn Yến in the south-central province of Phú Yên.

The young photographer, based in HCM City, is the only Vietnamese photographer to win an award from the UYP 2022, a prestige competition in the UK that was first held in 1965.

Thiện’s photo has won the Save Our Seas Foundation Marine Conservation category, as the regulations for this category are not limited to underwater photography but images that convey the message of marine conservation.

Judge Peter Rowlands told CNN: “A stark visual reminder of man’s reach and control over the surrounding habitat and its devastating effect on the natural balance,”

Thiện took the photo in June 2019 in the peak season of anchovy fishing in Phú Yên. His photo spreads a message of protecting marine resources from overfishing.

He wrote on his Instagram page: “I’m so happy and honoured to be chosen as the winner of the UYP 2022.

“I would like to thank Peter Rowlands and the judges, the UYP22 organisers, and Save Our Seas Foundation, especially everybody out there who are working hard to protect our ocean in every way, every scale. All of our works, our actions all matter and are very necessary to the better future of our ocean.”

Through many beautiful photos at famous diving spots in Việt Nam and around the world, Thiện has given great travel inspiration to sea lovers.

The UPY 2022 received 4,200 entries from photographers from 71 countries and territories. This year, Rafael Fernandez Caballero from Spain was crowned the overall winner of the contest with his photo, titled “Dancing with the Giants of the Night” depicting five whale sharks, the largest known fish in the world, feeding on nocturnal plankton in Maldives. VNS

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