WPY 2019

Photograph Details

Highly Commended 2019

Plants and Fungi

Michel Roggo, Switzerland

The Freshwater Forest

Michel was diving near the water’s surface when he spotted a huge pike disappearing into the mass of aquatic plants below, called watermilfoil. He followed for a closer look and noticed that some supported thick clusters of zebra mussels. Glancing up he found himself immersed in an ‘underwater jungle with an endless view’.

Watermilfoils and zebra mussels are both prolific breeders easily spread by human activity. They have colonised fresh water far beyond their place of origin, causing harmful changes in the areas they are introduced into. Zebra mussels’ filter feeding increases water clarity, significantly reducing plankton densities and disrupting ecosystems.

Technical specification

Sony α7R + 16–35mm f4 lens at 16mm; 1/40 sec at f8; ISO 200; Nauticam housing


Lake Neuchâtel, Switzerland: latitude 46.946083, longitude 6.871664 Lake Neuchâtel, Switzerland: latitude 46.946083, longitude 6.871664

Lake Neuchâtel, Switzerland

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Michel Roggo

Michel Roggo, Switzerland

Michel has worked as a professional photographer since 1987 and is a member of the International League of Conservation Photographers. In 2011 he launched the Freshwater Project, and over seven years he photographed 40 different and spectacular freshwater environments across the world. Michel has also shown his work in 40 solo exhibitions.

  • Bottom view
  • Freshwater Eden