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Sandra Stalker’s image ‘Midnight Raver’ which won her Most Promising British Underwater Photographer of the Year 2024

Weymouth College Art Lecturer and Technician, Sandra Stalker, has been named Most Promising British Underwater Photographer of the Year 2024.

Sandra attended the Underwater Photographer of the Year awards ceremony in Mayfair last weekend and won the Most Promising British Underwater Photographer for her image of a crab, named Midnight Raver, taken during a night dive at Portland Harbour.

Her photos also saw her placed as runner-up and third in the Runner up in British Waters Macro category, and highly commended in the British Waters Living Together category.

Speaking about her winning image, Sandra said: “I find the crabs to have such bold and funny characters whilst running up to me and then away wildly flailing their legs like ravers, and I wanted to capture this character.”

The judges praised Sandra’s use of lighting, commenting: “A creative photographic mind can metamorphose an everyday scene into a stunning vision.”

2 – ‘Moonlight Wonderland’, which saw Sandra placed third in the British Waters Macro category

Sandra, who is also a talented illustrator and printmaker, moved to Weymouth after graduating in Communication Media (Illustration) in 1996 and has worked at the College as an Art Lecturer and Technician for 27 years.

Having been inspired by tropical underwater imagery in books and films, Sandra learned to dive in very poor visibility during a stormy September at Portland harbour in 1999, and started using her first underwater camera about 19 years ago, initially mostly for ID shots of species to create prints from.

After seeing her first fish on her third dive, she realised there was life within our waters and has gone on to promote the wonderful array of often overlooked colourful marine life that the Dorset shores have to offer through her photography.

She now enjoys the challenges of finding interesting new ways to portray and photograph the local underwater life.

Sandra commented: “I’ve only really been into the creative side of underwater photography since about 2019 and have been awarded in underwater photographer of the year for the last four years running.

“This year I was also a finalist in Close Up Photographer of the Year and have had images in the finals of Wildlife Photographer of the Year for the last three years.”

Sandra talk more about her passion for underwater photographer and her winning image in this video:

You can find out more about the Underwater Photographer of the Year awards here: Home Page – Underwater Photographer of the Year.

‘Friend or Foe’, which was highly commended by judges for the British Waters Living Together category

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