Bottom view

Michel Roggo's Image

Michel is passionate about revealing the beauty of freshwater life and spends much of his time photographing below the surface.

In winter, in calm parts of the River Rhine, Switzerland, fish gather in dense groups. 'I'd got an image in my head of a mass of motionless fish,' says Michel, 'chub, bream, sander ...'and that was the picture he set out to take. So when a mute swan swam into the frame and then a girl on the bridge above began dropping bits of bread onto the water to feed the chub and the swan, he was very frustrated. But then he realized that the swan's rear end actually added to the scene. 'I learned that day,' says Michel, 'not to be so single-minded and to embrace all opportunities.'

Behind the lens

Michel Roggo

Michel Roggo


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.

Image details

  • Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • EF 16-35mm f2.8 lens
  • 1/85 sec at f5.6  •   ISO 400
  • River Rhine, Schaffhausen, Switzerland
Copyright in WPY competition photographs remains the property of the respective photographers. You may not copy, share, reproduce or republish the photographs except as expressly permitted by copyright law. For media image usage enquiries, please contact us.

More images from Michel Roggo

View all
Freshwater Eden
The Freshwater Forest

Support our important work

Help us harness the power of photography to advance scientific knowledge, spread awareness of important issues and nurture a global love for nature.

Donate now

Discover more

Sign up to our newsletter

Receive email updates about Wildlife Photographer of the Year news, events, science, products, services and fundraising activities. We may occasionally include third-party content from our corporate partners and other museums. We will not share your personal details with these third parties. You must be over the age of 13. Privacy notice.